The Toronto Raptors have started looking ahead, leaving their
roster in disarray for the immediate future.
As they wait for their new acquisitions to arrive following
Monday’s seven-player trade, the Raptors may be short-handed when
they host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.
Though they only played eight against the Los Angeles Lakers,
the Raptors (7-12) snapped their five-game losing streak with a
106-94 road victory Sunday to spoil Kobe Bryant’s return.
Before the contest, Toronto reached an agreement to send Rudy
Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy to Sacramento in exchange for
Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes.
The trade was officially finalized on Monday.
”We thank Rudy, Aaron and Quincy for their time here. They were
great professionals and strong community ambassadors of the
Raptors,” general manager Masai Ujiri said. ”The trade gives us
good flexibility and more certainty as we plan for our
After being traded from Memphis to Toronto last season, Gay –
averaging 19.4 points but shooting a career-worst 38.8 percent – is
the centerpiece of this deal as well.
He’s making $17.8 million this season and holds a $19.3 million
player option for the 2014-15 season.
By moving Gay, Toronto gains future financial flexibility. Of
the four players going to Toronto, only Hayes has a deal that
extends beyond this season.
With Gay shipped out, DeMar DeRozan – scoring a team-high 21.6
per game – becomes the only Raptor averaging more than 15 points.
DeRozan has scored 25.0 per game over his last 10 overall, and put
up 29 in each of his last two at home against the Spurs (15-4).
“It ain’t the first time for me,” DeRozan said of the deal. “A
lot of my friends have been traded and moved on. It just gets to a
point where you understand it and you know what’s going on.”
The acquisition of Vasquez, averaging 9.8 points and 5.3
assists, gives the Raptors a solid option behind starting point
guard Kyle Lowry (14.8 ppg), while Patterson and Hayes could get an
opportunity in the frontcourt.
Amir Johnson made the most of his first start in four games with
a career-high 32 points on 14-of-17 shooting to go along with 10
rebounds in Sunday’s win. He’s made 30 of 42 shots while averaging
23.3 points and 9.0 boards in his last three games.
Lowry had 23 points and eight assists and DeRozan scored 26 for
the Raptors, who missed 22 of 26 from 3-point range but ended a
10-game road losing streak to the Lakers.
Now they’ll try to take advantage of a San Antonio team that has
allowed 107.7 points and a 41.3 3-point percentage in its last
The Spurs have been tough defensively on the road, giving up an
average of 91.2 points and holding opponents to 33.9 percent from
beyond the arc while winning seven of nine. San Antonio, however,
has lost three of five overall following a 13-1 start.
Kawhi Leonard matched a season high with 18 points and Manu
Ginobili added 16 Saturday against visiting Indiana, but Tony
Parker and Tim Duncan were limited to a combined 23 in the 111-100
”We give a lot of credit to Indiana,” Parker said. ”They just
played better than us.”
Parker and Duncan teamed for 58 points in a 111-106
double-overtime victory in the most recent meeting in Toronto on
Nov. 25, 2012. Parker has totaled 66 points and 19 assists in his
last two visits to the Air Canada Centre.
San Antonio has won five straight meetings overall.