Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 2/7/13
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]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Fred Jackson released by Bills after eight seasons with team

RGIII won't be starting Week 1, but he's on the ticket

Appellate Court sides with MLB in minimum wage lawsuit

Giants owner at Brady hearing, reportedly at judge's request

Indians owner attempting to sell minority stakes to raise cash

Kirk Cousins reportedly named Week 1 starter by Redskins

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raiders lose starting lineman to ruptured Achilles tendon

NFL should keep its hands off wide receivers’ gloves

Report: Redskins owner not blocking RG3 trade

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs ace Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release two-time Pro Bowl CB Tim Jennings

Courtroom artist has been practicing drawing Tom Brady

John Kruk: Take Curt Schilling with 'a grain of salt'

Will Smith's "Concussion" trailer must be terrifying for the NFL

Aikman: Redskins are more dysfunctional than Kardashians

Luck for Luck? QBs who won Super Bowl in fourth season

Harmon treats media to beers, whiskey after two holes-in-one

Five big storylines for the 2015-16 NBA season

Most crucial player for each remaining playoff contender

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

U.S. Open women's preview: Can anyone stop Serena?

Buffalo Bills need to start Tyrod Taylor at quarterback

WATCH: Broncos defender drops Reggie Bush, skirmish ensues

U.S. Open men's preview: Will there be a surprise champion?

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

U.S. Open men's preview

U.S. Open women's preview

D'Angelo Russell zings Lakers fans

Every NBA division's most interesting rookie for 2015-16

Fantasy football round-by-round draft strategy

Ronda Rousey's Carl’s Jr. ad

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker