Originally posted 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]

This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mike Trout to undergo MRI after suffering thumb injury

John Wall: Bench was cause of Wizards’ ‘downfall’

Arum says Pacquiao would fight McGregor if Mayweather won't

Aaron Judge hits first grand slam of his career

David Stern: Lakers could have had Chris Paul, GM panicked

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Jacobs vows to 'expose' Jim Harbaugh, get him fired

Mike Zimmer won’t retire even if right eye goes blind

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

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

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

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