After a month of Rudy Gay- Thoughts

Al-Farouq Aminu ; Rudy Gay

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?


2 comments on “After a month of Rudy Gay- Thoughts

  1. Bring back Smitch says:

    Thanks for this post. It was a good read.

    I was somewhat on the fence about the Rudy Gay acquisition, but I probably leaned more towards the negative side because of his bloated contract.

    When you break the numbers down in a general way, it’s a bit depressing that Colangelo traded for him. If an NBA team has say between 60 and 75 possessions per game and Rudy Gay is swallowing up around a third of the shots, factoring in his inefficiency, over half are yielding rebounds. This is bad, but when you factor in that the Raptors are the second worst rebounding team in the NBA that leads to a lot of lost possesions. In a way,if Colangelo was so hell bent on getting Rudy Gay the Raptors should have kept Davis and shipped out Ross in the Gay trade because at least Ed Davis is good for a solid 7-9 rebounds per game and would compensate somewhat for his middling field goal percentage. This is however premised on the idea that Davis would get starters minutes and not the largely useless big man that is Andrea Bargnani.

    • bpete00 says:

      Thanks for reading and also your feedback Smitch.

      I hated the Rudy Gay trade as soon as I saw that it happened. Hated it even more when I found out that they got rid of Ed Davis to do it, while also keeping Bargnani around. I think a core of Ross-Davis-JV would have had some promise, if they had simply built the team around them and a couple more high picks.

      Definitely the wrong types of moves that the team should be making right now. I think that a couple of years down the road, MLSE will regret allowing BC to take them in the direction that they’re currently headed with the Rudy Gay trade.

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