Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 11/20/14
Memphis-grizzlies-oklahoma
Rudy Gay became a Toronto Raptor last week and you would be excused for thinking that he had been liberated from a Grizzly prison upon his departure from Memphis, if you listened to his comments this week on Toronto radio. That is right: the man formerly known as the highest paid man on the Grizz is now the highest paid Raptor -- but will he be the best performing Raptor? There are those who will argue that despite being the team's leading scorer (17.2ppg) in Memphis, Gay was but the third or even fourth most effective player on the roster behind the likes of Zach Randolph (15.7ppg, 11.7rpg), Marc Gasol (13.5ppg, 7.6rpg, 3.5apg, 1.7bpg, 1.0spg) and Mike Conley (13.2ppg, 5.8apg, 2.3spg). Now in his seventh season, Gay has had his worst scoring and shooting (40.8%) performance since his rookie season. Whether this was a product of his own poor form, or the situation he found himself in on the Grizzlies roster, it became apparent that a change was needed. 'I was excited for a new start. I’ve known a lot of these guys here and I’ve been a fan of DeMar’s for a long time. I like the fact that he’s gotten better and better every year. So it was cool. It was a new start for me,' said Gay. Gay's first three games in Toronto certainly look like those of a liberated player. He has put up a hugely improved 24.7 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game and 2.7 steals per game, while shooting 2.1 percent better at 42.9%. Part of that improvement may come back to the family feel that Gay has for the Raptors -- particularly with his relationship with Kyle Lowry. I wouldn’t even say it’s my boy, it’s like my brother. His son is my Godson. I’ve known him since we were 14, so it’s good to have somebody like [that], especially with this transition. Whether that turns around Gay's season and that of the 17-32 Raptors will be interesting to see. With Toronto sitting fifth in the Atlantic Division, they are certainly not in the playoff hunt. However the core is there for a bright future. Between Gay, Lowry, Andrea Bargnani, Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan there is a five with an average age of 25. How many pieces are the Raptors away from contending, according to Gay? I say one — one piece. I think honestly we can get there with this team but I think we could really make noise if we have one more piece. It doesn’t take a lot, because everybody’s going to pick up their game and everybody’s gonna come prepared to try to win. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Eddie Lacy is ‘very blind,’ refuses to wear goggles

Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, gets probation

NFL scouts not in love with Amari Cooper?

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo's Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

Tuscaloosa students will have two days off if Bama plays in National Championship

Brady scares the **** out of his teammates celebrating

Longhorn Network’s yule log? Five hours of BEVO

Will a Chiefs WR finally catch a TD in Week 16?

Jon Lester and the Cubs

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.