Rudy Gay Only Clear Winner from Raptors-Grizzlies Trade

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2013

USA Today

Wednesday night, Memphis Grizzlies fans had the opportunity to relive the Rudy Gay experience, though not in all its inefficient glory. After all, 8-of-18 from the field is lights out for Gay.

The reason Memphis traded him to the Toronto Raptors last season was twofold: He makes a ton of money (organization's fault), and he's an absolute chucker (player's fault, kind of).

In his return to Memphis, Gay scored 23 points, grabbed six rebounds and led his team to a 103-87 victory over the squad with which he spent his first six-and-a-half NBA seasons.

Afterward, Gay said, per the Associated Press via, "Obviously, you want to win every game, but for me personally, it was more emotional."

It makes sense for a guy to feel good beating his old team. And for Gay, it's a feeling he should enjoy as long as he's in Toronto. Because it's Gay who might be the lone winner of that deal from last season.

At 3-5, the Grizzlies are struggling early this season, and the player they landed in the deal to replace Gay—Tayshaun Prince—is averaging just 6.3 points. 

If he was still playing in Memphis, Gay would likely be a third, maybe even a fourth wheel. He'd be sharing shots with Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.

Contrast that with Toronto, where he only has to compete with DeMar DeRozan for touches. This season, Gay seems to have the freedom to cast off as many long jumpers as he wants, even if he's not making them.

After shooting 11-of-37 (not a typo) against the Houston Rockets Monday night, ESPN's Ethan Strauss said:

That was, of course, in reference to the Lasik eye surgery that Raptors fans were certain would miraculously fix Gay's jumper.

But the problem isn't the shot itself. It's the shot selection. And a lot of the shots Gay selects shouldn't look good with contacts, surgically repaired eyes or even glasses.


All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference or unless otherwise noted.

For 140-character pearls of wisdom from Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey, follow him on Twitter: @AndrewDBailey.