Rudy Gay told Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears that he wasn't given the opportunity to prove his value as a go-to scorer with the Memphis Grizzlies. Now with the Toronto Raptors, Gay believes he's being utilized like a player earning $16 million this year should.
"You have to give me a chance to see if I'm worth that," Gay told Yahoo! Sports.
"I needed a new situation. A new task. I needed a new task with something I could grasp, something I could take over. I need to be challenged. I was challenged in Memphis, but it was tug of war at times. Here I'm being challenged and they're seeing what I'm made of."
He's gotten his challenge under general manager Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors.
Sources of Spears tell him that Toronto could seek to extend Gay's contract this offseason even though his current contract already runs through 2014-15, ending that year with a player option worth $19.3 million. Colangelo, whose own contract ends after this season, has his own future hinging on the success of Gay.
So far, it's been a good trade for Toronto. Gay is averaging 20.9 points since joining the Raptors on Feb. 1, though he's shooting 38.1 percent in his last 10 games. Toronto is 7-8 since he arrived, and Gay has already hit two game-winning shots as a Raptor.
The Grizzlies don't appear to be regretting the deal that mostly helped by shedding a hefty salary on a roster alright in a tight financial situation. With former Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince assuming Gay's starting role, Memphis has won 10 of 14 games since the trade as they haven't budged from running the offense through big men Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
The success has likely eased the criticisms of new Memphis owner Robert Pera, who received flak from the media and fans alike as the Gay trade advanced.
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