Kings/Raptors Trade Reaction

News of the pending trade between the Raptors and Kings overshadowed Kobe Bryant‘s return to the Lakers, which was supposed to be the story of Sunday night around the NBA. There are plenty of reverberations in the wake of the deal that featured Rudy Gay, and we’ll round them up here:

  • The Raptors were at the 15-man roster limit before the trade, and since they’re acquiring four players and giving up three, they’ll have to cut someone. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun initially figured D.J. Augustin was ripe for the chopping block before hearing Dwight Buycks was most likely to go (Twitter links). HoopsWorld’s Steve Kyler pegs Julyan Stone as the probable cut, but Wolstat (on Twitter) thinks Stone is most likely to stick.
  • There was increasing mutual dissatisfaction between the Raptors and Gay, note Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. It’s almost certain that Gay will exercise his $19.3MM option for next season, Wojnarowski and Spears write, and the Kings didn’t ask Gay about his plans regarding the option before agreeing to the trade, USA Today’s Sam Amick tweets.
  • The Raptors might not be weakening their team this season, Kyler writes in his NBA AM piece, figuring the players they’re acquiring might be much better than the ones they’re sending out. Kyler also suggests the Kings may use the next couple of months to evaluate Gay to decide whether to flip him at the trade deadline.
  • Raptors coach Dwane Casey remains on shaky ground, sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe. The Raptors spoke to nearly every team in the league about Gay, Lowe writes, specifically mentioning the Pistons, Bucks and Cavs.
  • Toronto brass had already decided to rebuild before they found a taker for Gay, but sources told SportsNet’s Michael Grange just two days prior to the deal that GM Masai Ujiri had essentially given up on what seemed like a futile search for a trade partner.
  • In the same piece, Grange writes that league sources were stunned that the Kings were willing to take on Gay, with one executive asking rhetorically, “Doesn’t Sacramento watch the games?”
  • Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro has been struggling to accept the idea of another losing season for Sacramento, which helps explain why he’s been so active on the trade market, according to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.
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