An Interactive Sports Experience

The Toronto Raptors Had Us Fooled

When the Toronto Raptors decided to deal borderline star Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings, the general thought was that the Raptors did this in order to tank to obtain a high draft pick. It sounded like a good idea since the Raptors last high profile player was Chris Bosh, who didn’t bring much success to the franchise and ditched them to chase championships with his buddies in Miami, Florida. It seemed as though the Raptors would trade point guard Kyle Lowry in order to help out in the tanking cause. Now this all sounds like crazy talk.

When they traded Rudy Gay, the Raptors had a below 500 record. Since trading Gay, the Raptors have been 8-3 record and now sit at fourth place in the East with a 15-15 record. The Kings on the other hand look like they have the last few years, just plain garbage. Gay hasn’t made the team any better than before they made the trade.

First I have to take a look back at the deal that Toronto pulled off. It looked like they gave up three players for the price of four but in reality, they only gave up Gay. Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray were just fillers to make the salaries work, they weren’t big pieces on the team anyway. Instead of trading for a replacement for Gay, the Raptors grabbed four solid players to fill out their bench. They obtained an ever important back up point guard in Grevasis Vasquez, a veteran small forward in John Salmons, a back up stretch power forward in Patrick Patterson, and a third string big man in Chuck Hayes. Now these aren’t the best group of players, I’m pretty sure I called them all scrubs when the trade went down, but as a group of guys coming off your bench, this isn’t too bad. All of these guys contracts are up at the end of their year (except Hayes) so there’s a lot of cap flexibility, I’m just surprised that Steve Novak or Landry Fields weren’t thrown in the deal to get rid of more salary.

The deal reminds me a little of what the Denver Nuggets did with the Carmelo Anthony deal. Oh yeah that’s right the Nuggets general manager at the time Masai Ujiri, is now currently the Toronto Raptors general manager. Obviously this man knows how to make a trade work, he got rid of Andrea Bargnani this summer so he has to be recognized as a great basketball mind.

I realized I’ve talked about how the Raptors have gotten here but I almost forgot to talk about how things have changed. There is no more ball stopping Rudy Gay killing the offense. Instead the offense runs threw DeMar Derozan, who has been playing some very good basketball. Mostly known as a dunker before, Derozen has versified his game now to the point where he is the go to scorer for this team. His jump shot has improved and hes been playing inspiring defense as well. Hes averaging 20 points right now and with all the injuries that have happened in the East, you can go ahead and pencil him in on my all star predictions list. Derozan isn’t the most efficient player but he somehow seems like a better option than Gay, oh yeah and  Demars 4 year 40 million deal is looking like a steal.

Derozan isn’t the only one who’s stepped up, Lowry, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross (the new starter in place of Gay) have all stepped up and given this Raptors team a balanced scoring. I can see that Ujiri is running the Raptors just like he did the Nuggets, which is a good thing. I just wonder if they can keep the same intensity and level of play throughout the season. It would be nice to see these Raptors make the playoffs, and with how bad the East has been it shouldn’t be hard anyway.

Was good though, it's me Everick Davis Jr. Born and raised in Portsmouth Virginia, I'm currently a senior at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. I watch every sport (not so much golf) but I am huge on the NBA. My favorite players right now are J.R. Smith, Russell Westbrook & Nick Young. Drinking beer and watching sports is my favorite past time and I do it year round! I used to play basketball on the regular until everyone else kept growing and I still stood at 5'6. So that's when I channeled my efforts into becoming the next Stephen A Smith or anything close to that. I currently write for "The Carolinian" newspaper in Greensboro, NC and intern for Random Fact about me, I love anime, my favorite one is One Piece! Second random fact, I got beatz! check me out

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