Sam Hinkie did his roster destruction over the summer to set things up for the 2014 draft. Masai Ujiri appears to be doing his on the fly...maybe. Getting rid of Rudy Gay made the Raptors better. Forget about the players he got back, losing Gay was addition by subtraction, and if he stops there it wasn't a tanking move, but rumors have Kyle Lowry as the next man out of Toronto, which would signify an organizational tank job.
Ujiri's ultimate motivation for revoking Rudy Gay's visa (or whatever the Canadian equivalent might be) is extremely hard to determine. On the one hand, getting rid of Gay should dramatically improve the overall performance of the team. Gay was an offensive black hole. So was he trying to make the team better by moving him? I find that unlikely, unless he's being pushed to make a push for the playoffs. On the other hand, Gay's contract is obscene, so maybe he just leapt the first time someone offered him a way out of the previous administration's mess. On the other hand, maybe Ujiri does want to tank, and he was facing the same dilemma the Sixers face with Evan Turner.
Here's the story with both Gay and Turner. It's impossible to win with them on your team, but it's also hard to lose. Guys who use up a ton of possessions and don't do a whole lot with them sink your team in the long run....but, they get hot sometimes and when they get hot, you wind up winning games maybe you should have, or could have if you're tanking, lost. It's a frustrating conundrum. Over 82 games, guys like Gay or Turner might just raise your floor a bit too high while also keeping your ceiling low. Of course there's another explanation, maybe Ujiri just got sick of watching Gay's display of terrible basketball every night. I've certainly reached that point with Turner.
This should be a pretty easy loss for the Sixers tonight. Toronto is actually better than their record, modestly below average on both ends of the floor. Ujiri is going to have his work cut out for him if he wants to turn this 7-13 club into a contender for a top pick. The Sixers have played, and lost, three more games than the Raptors. This is a big game for them, any W they can hang on a fellow tanker is a great thing.
The tip is at 7pm. I won't be around, enjoy the game.