Dec 18, 2013, 10:45 AM EDT
But Toronto also got a new spirit.
Without the shoot-first, do-little-else Gay, the Raptors have gone 3-1. They’re just clicking a little better. They might be playing with a little more passion, too.
Terrence Ross certainly is.
Landry Fields replaced Gay in the starting lineup in Toronto’s first game after the trade, but Ross had 11 points and two steals off the bench. He’s started the three games since, averaging 15.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest.
“It’s an opportunity,” Ross said. “Probably the biggest opportunity of my career so I’m just taking advantage of it and making sure I capitalize on things.”
“I’m doing anything and everything to keep the position I have right now,” Ross said. “It’s not only about scoring. It’s about doing whatever you are asked and playing hard on defence and really not having any mental lapses.”
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $85,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Wednesday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Wednesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
This is why trading Gay was necessary.
Ross, 22, has shown flashes of brilliances in his two-year career. He’s also been unsteady.
The Raptors must figure out what they have in Ross, and this will give them a chance to do that.
If Ross plays well, he should set himself up as a key piece of their core. If he doesn’t, they will seek to add another wing player. The choice doesn’t need to reveal itself immediately, but it must become clear eventually.
At least Masai Ujiri will have the luxury of seeing Ross in a full opportunity and with full motivation, which should make the general manager’s assessment easier.
- Report: Phil Jackson ‘leaning toward’ accepting offer to become Knicks president 22
- Paul Pierce’s move to power forward adds twist to his career, Brooklyn Nets’ season 3
- O.J. Mayo suspended one game for punching Pelicans’ Greg Stiemsma in the throat (VIDEO) 4
- Pacers players hold locker room meeting after getting crushed by Rockets 24
- PBT Podcast: Talking Showtime Lakers with author Jeff Pearlman 9