Kings owner Vivek Ranadive was the catalyst behind Sacramento’s trade for Rudy Gay, and he’s wanted the 6’9″ forward for months, regardless of the advanced metrics that suggest Gay is no star, a source tells TNT’s David Aldridge. His enthusiasm allowed the Raptors to unload a player that GM Masai Ujiri clearly wasn’t as high on. Here’s more on the swap along with other news from Toronto:
- Jonas Valanciunas is the Raptor least likely to be traded, but even he isn’t entirely off-limits as Ujiri attempts to overhaul the team, according to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun. A desire to sell tickets and the expectation that Gay would raise his trade value helped keep the Raptors from trading Gay before the season, Wolstat suggests.
- Wolstat adds more thoughts on the trade in a separate piece, passing along word from a source who says it’s likely the Raptors trade one or both of DeMar DeRozan and Amir Johnson.
- It’s clear that Ujiri is rebuilding the Raptors, but it’s not as easy to see what he’s building toward, writes Matt Moore of CBSSports.com.
- Andrew Wiggins isn’t the lock for the No. 1 overall pick he once appeared to be, but there’s no way the Raptors would pass him up if they won the draft lottery, writes Chad Ford of ESPN.com, who looks at what several teams would do with the top pick (Insider only).