Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Alarming trend for Raptors' wings
By Joe Kaiser
Insider Amin Elhassan mentioned Toronto small forward Rudy Gay in his story today on NBA players who need help to win, pointing out the one-dimensional aspect of Gay's game and the limitations it creates in the Raptors' lineup.
Perhaps more alarming than the case of Gay himself is how this scorer-only reputation is a trend amongst all the wings in Toronto's rotation, save for Landry Fields.
In the case of Gay, the team could ultimately let him sign elsewhere when he becomes a free agent next summer. But what about DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross, the team's two other high-flying athletes who have yet to show a real commitment on the other side of the ball? DeRozan is locked up for $9.5 million a year for three more seasons and has a player option for the same price in 2016-17. And Ross, the No. 8 overall pick in 2012 taken ahead of Andre Drummond, is also considered a big part of the team's young nucleus going forward.
Unless DeRozan or Ross make big strides defensively this season, the reality is that coach Dwane Casey, who has a defense-first mentality, will again have three fairly one-dimensional wings on his roster that are liabilities on the side of the ball he specializes in.