In the middle of last season, Rudy Gay found himself traded away from the Memphis Grizzlies and on his way to join the Toronto Raptors as part of an effort to revitalize basketball north of the border. Well during the summer, the Raptors made a major front office switch, relieving Bryan Colangelo of his duties as general manager, and hiring Masai Ujiri to take his place as general manager. Ujiri was coming off an “Executive Of The Year Award” winning season with the Nuggets, and everybody in the NBA knew he was going to make some significant changes to the Raptors upon his arrival. One of the big question marks was Rudy Gay and where he fit into Ujiri’s plans for the franchise if at all.
Well today we got our answer to the Rudy Gay question, and the answer is that Ujiri doesn’t see Rudy Gay as a part of the Toronto Raptors’ future. According to various reports, the Raptors have officially agreed to trade Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings. The trade in full is as follows—the Raptors send Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy, and Aaron Gray to the Kings; the Kings send John Salmons, Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, and Chuck Hayes to the Raptors.
As for the aftermath of this trade, I think it’s possible that both teams mutually win out for different reasons. The Raptors win because Ujiri gets rid of Gay’s monstrous contract, and now has purged the organization of the Bryan Colangelo era. It’s his team now and he has full reign over who the team will be built around, etc. As for the Kings, they now not only have one franchise player to build around in DeMarcus Cousins, but they now have two with the addition of Rudy Gay. The Kings could very easily build a playoff caliber team centered around Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins, even in a heavily loaded Western Conference. While I don’t think the Kings make the playoffs this season, this is an incredibly encouraging sign for Kings fans that their new ownership and front office is serious about winning and making the Sacramento Kings a dominant force in the Western Conference like they were back in the late 90’s.
—Ben Parker: follow me on twitter @nba_lord