It’s now been a little over a month now since the Raptors decided to finally make a trade for Rudy Gay.
After all of the weeks of speculation that a potential trade could happen as well as the initial hype immediately after the deal, I must say, the results aren’t too far off from what I expected from the team to start the Rudy Gay era.
To others, who expected Rudy Gay to somehow blossom into the star player that he’s paid like, well, let’s just say that there was a reason that the Grizzlies were looking to get rid of him for years. We’re certainly seeing those reasons now.
Furthermore, the Raptors’ record since acquiring Rudy Gay is only 8-9, and 8-8 if you don’t include the game he didn’t play in. Despite losing some depressing games to the Wizards, as well as the Cavaliers without Irving, the Raptors appear to be a near .500% team.
But what’s even worse is that you also have to remember that without Rudy Gay hitting two game winning shots, this team could have easily been at an even more disappointing record of 6-11 right now.
In addition, let’s take a look at Rudy’s individual performance since the trade.
Through 16 games played, he’s averaging 19.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.8 APG, 2.4 SPG, 4.6 FTA, and just less than 1 BPG. Which, looking at those stats by themselves, tells a pretty impressive story. Which is also the reason why those are the only stats that they show you on the Raptors broadcast.
But, let’s take a deeper look at how Rudy is getting those numbers through the stats that they aren’t showing you. 37.5 MPG, .38 FG%, .24 3P%, and a whopping 19.3 FGA.
Let that sink in a little bit. Shooting at 38% is really not impressive, nor is it efficient offense when you’re only scoring 19 PPG on 19 shots. So looking deeper into the stats, it shows that Rudy Gay has had more of a negative impact on offense since joining the Raptors than a positive one.
Also, according to Basketball Reference, Rudy Gay’s offense has been so bad that he has actually has a NEGATIVE OWS (Offensive Win Share) of -0.7, and a DWS (Defensive Win Share) of 0.8. A net combined O/D WS of only 0.1. So, statistically, Rudy Gay has been terrible offensively, and only mediocre defensively, while only contributing an estimated 0.1 of the 8 wins since he arrived.
Unusual, considering that Rudy Gay was actually supposed to help the team’s offense, not make it worse. Obviously, having a negative impact offensively isn’t something you would ever attribute to a “star” player.
So, after this many games and seeing the same results, it’s probably fair to say that Rudy Gay is far from the “star” player that many fans thought Rudy would almost instantly become in Toronto.
What’s even more interesting is the sub plot. It was after all, Bryan Colangelo who wanted Rudy Gay all along and even admitted that he almost took Rudy first overall instead of Bargnani in 2006. So, how fitting would it be that in the end, the guy that Bryan Colangelo wanted so badly may even end up costing him his job?
Sometime this offseason, MLSE will either give him more time to run the team, or replace him with someone else.
It is important to remember though, that after this season, he will have spent seven years making the front office decisions for the team. Can we really expect much different results than we have been accustomed to over the years? That is, it’s more than likely that we either return to mediocrity (if we’re lucky), or simply fall flat on our faces and end up back in the draft lottery at this time next year.
If he does return as General Manager of the team, well, then the questions remain as to how to make this team into one that can do some damage in the playoffs. Right now, there is a lot of work to be done in that respect.
The average, at best performance by the team since the trade definitely leaves a lot to be desired. This team certainly does not look like a team with one of the highest payrolls in the league going into next season. So, you have to be concerned about that. I know I am.
Ironically, the fate of Bryan Colangelo may literally lie in the hands of Rudy Gay right now. It could very well be Gay’s performance to end the year that ultimately determines what happens with Bryan Colangelo and his current position of Team President and General Manager.
So, in a sense, Bryan Colangelo may even be the ball at this point if it was put into a basketball context. So, I have to ask, would shooting it at less than 40% mean that there’s a +60% chance that he’s gone?