Rudy Gay: Why Trade to Toronto Raptors Is Bad Career Move for Star

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2013

Feb 3, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Raptors forward Rudy Gay (22) during their game against the Miami Heat at the Air Canada Centre. The Heat beat the Raptors 100-85. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a 25-point dismantling of the Pacific division-leading Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night, Rudy Gay will eventually regret being traded to the Toronto Raptors.

Gay scored a team-high 20 points and shot an even 50 percent en route to a 98-73 win over the Clippers on Friday night, but that win doesn't mean a thing for the direction of the Raptors.

Toronto beat a Chris Paul-less Clippers team, and at 17-30, the Raptors have a lot of work to do before even being mentioned in playoff conversation.

In fact, it's been a while since "Raptors" and "playoffs" were mentioned together, as Toronto hasn't appeared in the NBA's postseason since the 2007-08 season, when it was ousted in the first round by the Orlando Magic.

We know Gay was traded and didn't necessarily select Toronto as his glorious getaway, but HOOPSWORLD's Alex Kennedy reports that Gay was OK with being dealt:

Gay had grown unhappy with the situation in Memphis and it was time for both parties to move on.

Grizzlies brass had met with Gay last weekend and the small forward made it clear that he would welcome a trade.

OK, Rudy. You're going to leave a playoff contender to play for the basement in the Atlantic division?

DeMar DeRozan and Andrea Bargnani are nice players and all, but the Raptors don't have anywhere near the talent the Grizzlies do, with the likes of Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley.

Memphis currently owns the fourth spot in the West while Toronto is only five games out of being the worst team in the Eastern Conference.

Starting to see where I'm going with this?

It's going to be a long time before the Raptors are relevant in the Atlantic division, let alone in the Eastern Conference.

Gay's shooting percentages are way down this season, but Gay is still a productive piece that could have led the Grizzlies to a surprisingly deep run in the playoffs.

Instead, he'll average his 18 to 20 points in Toronto and watch the NBA playoffs from his couch in Toronto.

Bad move, Rudy. Bad. Move.