As honorary soundtrack for the “whatever” chapter in Rudy Gay’s “Diary of the Traveling Pants,” Styx it is. A 2014-15 $19.3 million player option with the delusional superstar wherewithal to go Code Black Hole and shoot upwards THIRTY FIVE times despite advanced analytics suggesting anyone shooting sub 41% across every facet of scoring (free throws removed) should probably feel behooved to not rain dance…meets being swapped a second time in however many months for a salary dump of fifteen some-odd million in combined expiring contract, Chuck “Thickness” Hayes and summer financial certainty in Toronto…meets Sacramento’s persisting on floor dysfunction and hero ball…meets this progressive ballad of the late 70′s? On board, I’m the captain, so climb aboard/We’ll search for tomorrow on every shore, And I’ll try/Oh Lord I’ll try, to carry on. We have no fucking idea of where we’re going, alright.
Does this mean Jimmer Fredette plays a lick? A bleak “maybe.” Miserable sideline life circumstances for Jimmer as of his entire career. JJ Reddick 2.0 irrationally rotting at the bottom of a depth chart: first three seasons filled with next level transition white boy problems (defense…pshhh) and far from miserable numbers, signs at the league minimum elsewhere with a team that realized connecting on 41% of one’s three’s over 156 attempts means added value and, boom, massive improvements in years four and five given extended opportunity. That’s my optimistic Jimmer Fredette narrative. Preach, Demarcus.
Ben Mclemore’s worst nightmare next to taking a bath in microwaved water for the rest of his life. Rudy Gay balls, Mclemore minutes and touches are lost, and the Kings move up the draft boards. Rudy Gay reaffirms all we’ve now known about Rudy Gay, Mclemore minutes and touches are lost, and The Kings are stuck in a Camel Clutch. Oh, and Sacramento is committed to $71 million…before Isaiah Thomas hits free agency.
I’m not jumping the Rudy Gay Ship just yet. He’s 27, I like the intriguing, potential filled small ball lineups featuring Derrick Williams/Demarcus Cousins four/five combinations if Rudy Gay ever comes to fathom the importance engaging anyone off the ball, ranks top 10 in one dribble pull up jumper field goal percentage amongst those pulling up five plus times a game, possesses somewhat of a clutch gene and is athletically devastating enough to theoretically gird up his loins and say, “Hey, I can impact a game in more ways than half of one if I do what God intended me to do and play team basketball.” But change you must, my friend. Efficiently change you must! Hell, how about channeling an inner Nicholas Batum? If Rudy Gay finished better than a DISMAL 32% of his 6.5 drives per game (already below league average efficiency, less volume shooting, and an inability to finish easy looks means the odds of finding a newfound sense of efficiency are heavily not in his favor) then I’d say Rudy Gay could totally channel an inner Nicholas Batum.
Reality: I’m in love with Rudy Gay having to demote himself as the lesser in the relationship of inside/out with one superstar big as opposed to two all-star bigs (Grizzles reference); Sam Malone’s ultimate ploy Demarcus Cousins leads the league in usage rate Isaiah Thomas is an affable HUN (28.4% usage rate) now manning first as opposed to second units. Those three plus those unconscionable levels of individual on ball dominance plus Rudy Gay in already one of the more stagnant, isolationist based offenses known to the NBA (bad habits will inevitably be nursed) plus Rudy Gay consistently finding himself shitting his pants at finessing the biscuit in the basket within five feet, plus no meaningful projected cap room this summer…Good Googly Moogly. The bright side is shallow yet juicy: Rudy Gay was in fact more productive as a Grizzly with less touches and $19.3 million doesn’t make the Kings anything more than an eight seed fringe contender. So the race for Dante Exum remains.
Doesn’t Aaron Gray visually fit the mold of someone who should be 6’6, fratting out at the University of Alabama, profusely sweating and forever looking like dog shit in a polo?
Detroit said, “Naw, our two expiring contracts surprisingly enough might help us fulfill our playoff mandate.” $99 for Milwaukee’s remaining 26 home games meant “Fuck $19.3 million if $19.3 million means we still aren’t good enough for a guaranteed eight seed.” Cleveland’s playoff mandate and abysmal collection of starting wings couldn’t suffice a simple, “yes.” Everyone else said, “No.”
18 months post shoulder surgery and Rudy Gay becomes the dime store hooker of the NBA (Rudy’s one of several). Baffling. Historical “suck” with regards to poor combination of irresponsible ball hawking, shot chucking and brick laying (I see you ’01-’02 Jerry Stackhouse!), high-jacking an offense with a gargantuan usage rate reserved for the upper UPPER echelon, an above average defender when engaged, a sorry at the rim finisher, probably THE worst on ball dominant passer this league has to offer. Quick, here’s some more horrifying Rud Gay statistics: (1.) Rudy Gay and Demar Derozan combined for 672 field goal attempts over 19 games (!) en route to becoming the league’s most ineffective midrange tandem next to Bradley Beal and Jon Wall, (2.) HE HASN’T SHOT ABOVE .500 IN A REGULAR SEASON GAME SINCE ARIL 16! And (3.) 19 points and 7 rebounds a game were so hallow that my man had to go as far as to using his facade of $19.3 star power to ban stat sheets from his locker room. Good Googely-Moogley, dime store hooker indeed. Dude has sucked dick. I thought Rudy Gay was aight?
The Irrelevant Afterthought
I don’t know about you, but I’m sure as hell interested in how this West coast ship of ideal small ball four (Rudy Gay’s calling if he ever saw the light and he knows it) affects the disinteresting legacy of Derrick Williams. And by disinteresting, I mean why don’t we care more about Derrick Williams’ befuddling decline from THE prototype of NBA small-ball four a la a 32 points and 13 rebounds (to this day the most impressive Sweet 16 performance I’ve ever seen) to infinitely more sorry than Marvin Williams….THE GUY SHOT 56.8% FROM THREE FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON IN COLLEGE! HOW HAS SMALL BALL FOUR DERRICK WILLIAMS NOT WORKED!
I guess Duke loves churning out fools gold lottery picks…that aren’t on their team. Tyrus Thomas, anyone?
So, Rudy Gay plus Derrick Williams minus every other big that mattered in Sacramento’s rotation besides Jason Thompson (a top 20 irrelevant lottery pick of all time that essentially just stands there…Rider University?). Small ball Rudy Gay/Derrick Williams tandem haven? Or does Quincy Acy do Quincy Acy? Well, Derrick Williams is 22. And I’m pretty sure 95% of NBA fans think Derrick Williams is 24. Most irrelevant after thought I know. So, yes, Quincy Acy. Just because Quincy Acy is a man.
Other than Rudy Gay serving as an interim mental health booster for Demarcus, not much “Boogie” in Sacramento; you know, because Demarcus Cousins is tore up with diagnosed personality disorder form the floor up and yearns the false enthusiasm behind Rudy Gay.
For Toronto, its Hollywood Swinging types of “Boogie.” Meaning (a.) Gay-Derozan Sydrome is no more and the Raptors aren’t subject to 35 wins by product of watching two guys squander any attempt at playing actual team basketball through countless errant, low percentage size up 15 to 19 footers; (b.) All threat of Jonas Valancinius sitting on Dwayne Casey’s face by the all-star break is off. Joey V is officially over seeing Bismack Biyombo type of offensive treatment despite his status as arguably the most promising 21 year old big on that exact end. Oh, and Joey is marginally better at defending the rim than Deandre Jordan(?); (c.) They are foreseeably bad enough for a seat at Adam Silver’s rigging of ping-pong balls for the most situationally marketable lottery pick in the history of situationally marketable lottery picks; (d.) A Venezuelan manning the one for anything Canadian post moving Kyle Lowery’s expiring deal would be equally as random as Jorge Garbajosa; And (e.) Congratulations…Unless the Memphis Grizzles effect persists, the ball starts moving, Amir Johnson/Joey V morph into a less adept yet still imposing mini Marc Gasol/Z-Bo and Toronto is better without Rudy Gay. Which will happen.