Toronto Raptors: Should They Go After a Small Forward Like Rudy Gay?

Stephen Brown@@the__ste (Double Underscore)Correspondent IIDecember 28, 2011

PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 05:  Rudy Gay #22 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 5, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the current makeup of the Toronto Raptors coupled with what they have coming in tow (i.e. Jonas Valanciunas) they seem to be set at the 4 and 5. Moreover, they have two players competing for the lead point guard role in Bayless and Calderon.

Couple that with Demar DeRozan at the 2 and the Raptors seem to have a decent little nucleus for the next couple of years at the 2, 4, 5 and possibly the 1 if Bayless shows that he can be a true point guard.

With that said, the Raptors desperately need to improve the SF position. With James Johnson and Rasual Butler manning most of the minutes at the 3 (with Kleiza in there eventually) the Raptors could definitely use an upgrade.

Many fans want the Raptors to wait for the 2012 NBA Draft in order to fix their problems at the SF spot. Many are hoping that the Raptors could grab Harrison Barnes from UNC. However, if the Raptors do grab a SF earlier then maybe they could find a young PG in the draft instead?

Here are a couple of thoughts at who the Raptors could make a package for. Of course, this is only if the Raptors believe that they can become relevant sooner rather than later.


Rudy Gay

With the way Memphis played in the playoffs last season without Gay, some believe they could in fact be better off without him. Gay is a great SF who has averaged over 19 points and five rebounds since his sophomore season. He also averages over a steal per game and 0.9 blocks.

His athleticism coupled with DDR and Ed Davis would make quite the lethal 2, 3, 4 combination for the future considering Gay is still only 25 years old.

Although he commands quite the salary, (a five-year $80 million contract signed in the summer of 2010) he would definitely bring a fresh face to the franchise and further excitement to the ACC.


Danny Granger

With the emergence of Paul George, the signing of David West and the continual progression of Tyler Hansbrough, Granger has taken a lesser role in the Pacers offense. The guy we should have drafted in 2005 instead of Joey Graham would be an excellent addition to the Raptors.

Although he is older than anticipated at 28 years of age, he could still help the struggling franchise return to its "former glory" (I say that with a grain of salt). A package including Calderon, Amir Johnson and a draft pick could net the Raptors Granger I am sure.

With his outside shooting and great peripheral statistics (career per game avg: 5.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.9 blocks) he could help bring this young team together.

We will see more of Granger in tonight’s game versus the Raptors.


Any SF on Minnesota

Minny has a plethora of talented small forwards on their squad ranging from rookie Derrick Williams to 20-point man Michael Beasley to former Syracuse standout Wesley Johnson.

Any one of these three would be a welcome addition to the Raptors team as they are all young and highly touted. Williams was the second overall pick in the 2011 Draft and is 20 years old. Beasley was also the second overall pick in his draft and is still only 22. Wes Johnson was selected fourth and is 24.

Johnson would be the cheapest followed by Beasley and then Williams, but I bet Minnesota would absolutely love to grab Jose Calderon to help tutor fellow Spaniard Ricky Rubio.

Calderon would perhaps not be enough to grab Beasley, but the Wolves should definitely be interested as it frees up room at the 3, and helps the progression of one of their biggest budding stars.

Happy Holidays

Get at me on twitter @the__ste (Double Underscore)