Rudy Gay was sent to Sacramento this week as part of a seven-player deal between the Kings and Raptors. The trade was more or less completed on Monday, but none of the players involved new Kings Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy and new Raptors Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes have played a minute for their new teams yet, as Venezuelan citizen Vasquez had some visa issues to resolve before taking up residence in the Great White North.
The deal could be a mixed blessing for Gay, who struggled as Toronto's marquee player and primary scorer. In Sacramento, he won't have the same freedom to jack up shots DeMarcus Cousins will continue to be the team's first option on offense. But that could actually help Gay, who will be asked to play the way he did in Memphis, as a complement to a low-post scoring threat.
Gay is 99 percent owned on virtually every site but could be available in trades if owners want to take a flier on the impact of this deal. I'd be looking to buy low.
The Kings' other big beneficiaries of the deal are Isaiah Thomas (81% owned) who won't have to share the point guard spot with Vasquez any more, and newly-acquired forward Derrick Williams (20%) who is expected to be the team's primary small forward now with Gay serving as a stretch power forward.
Unfortunately, the trade doesn't create much new fantasy value on Toronto's side not yet, at least. It's now abundantly clear that general manager Masai Ujiri has started work on a full-scale renovation. The only question is, Who gets dealt next? Point guard Kyle Lowry seems the likeliest candidate. According to a number of reports, Ujiri is already fielding offers from the Knicks and Nets, with several other teams lurking in the weeds.
Assuming Lowry is traded which appears to be a layup at this point -- Vasquez (62% owned) should take over the starting role and get a nice boost in value, as long as another competent point guard doesn't come back in any Lowry deal.
Toronto has several players who could pick up Gay's minutes on the wing. Terrence Ross (8% owned), Landry Fields (1%) or even Salmons (2%) though I suspect any playing time given to Salmons would be as a showcase for another deal. Salmons' contract for next season is not fully guaranteed, and there's a chance he could be cut loose if he isn't traded.
The Raptors waived D.J. Augustin (1%) to make room for the players acquired from Sacramento. He'll land with the Bulls, a team badly in need of backcourt scoring. Whether or not he's really a better option than Marquis Teague (0%) is an open question at this point.
Picks for the Week
All percent-owned stats from Yahoo!
Tobias Harris (56%) He returned to practice this week as he continues to rehab a high ankle sprain and expects to play Friday.
Amar'e Stoudemire (43%) So much for the minute restrictions. Stoudemire played in both games of the Knicks' back-to-back set this week, scoring 15 points in 27 minutes against Cleveland and 14 points in 30 against Chicago. He's been tremendously efficient in the month of December, Stoudemire has 61 points on just 37 shot attempts (h/t to @TommyBeer for that stat). Hard to say how long he'll hold up, but right now, he's the Knicks' most reliable option after Carmelo Anthony.
Andray Blatche (20%) Brook Lopez suffered a sprained ankle during the Nets' win over the Clippers on Thursday. It's unclear how much time he'll miss, but Blatche will be asked to pick up any slack if Lopez sits at all.
Nick Young (20%) With Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all sidelined by various injuries, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni will be forced to run some unconventional lineups. Kobe Bryant will take on the nominal point guard role, with Young, Jodie Meeks (27%) and others expected to see an uptick in minutes.
Tony Wroten (18%) Wroten looks more and more like one of the biggest steals of the offseason. He's playing exceptionally well in Michael Carter-Williams' absence, averaging 18.3 points per game in seven starts. Wroten willl head back to the bench when MCW returns but is a good short-term play.
Jon Leuer (8%) He's getting a nice boost in playing time since Quincy Pondexter suffered a season-ending injury and with Ed Davis (ankle) missing a few games. Leuer is averaging over 15.4 points and 8.0 rebounds in December.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (4%) The rookie has been the most effective of the Knicks' shooting guards, and with Iman Shumpert potentially sidelined after knocking knees with Mike Dunleavy on Wednesday, he could be in line for additional playing time.
Pablo Prigioni (1%) Raymond Felton will be out two-to-three weeks with a hamstring injury, which moves Prigioni into the starting lineup until further notice.