January 31, 2013 by bronasvalanciunas
Since the Toronto Raptors traded for Rudy Gay yesterday, the Raptors universe has been abuzz with various forms of analysis on the merit of the trade. Opinion, as always, has been divided on whether this move was a cold, calculated, but ultimately wise decision from a General Manager looking out for his team, or a harebrained publicity stunt from a man solely looking to keep his job. The stats junkies have analyzed this deal using various metrics in a variety of function-spaces. The shrewd businessmen have carefully weighed the cap cost versus potential jersey sales. The romantics have mourned the loss of a loyal limp-wristed Spaniard and a mustachioed up-and-comer, and drowned themselves in whiskey and tears. So what else can we possibly glean from this trade?
Here are 3 perspectives that have eluded both the mainstream basketball press and the blogosphere:
The Meat Perspective:
When analyzing and trade, the first thing I always look at is a pound-for-pound evaluation of the deal. Here the Raptors lost Jose Calderon (211 lbs) and Ed Davis (232 lbs) for a total of 443 lbs. They gained Rudy Gay (230 lbs) and Hamed Haddadi (a whopping 265 lbs) for a total of 495 lbs. From this perspective the Raptors gain 52 lbs in the deal, and add significant bulk to the roster. This bodes well for any potential apocalyptic scenarios, where the Raptors front office might find themselves living in an abandoned firehouse, having to sell off their players as steaks. If either Dwane Casey or Bryan Colangelo has any knowledge of butchery, they should be able to turn that extra 52 lbs into $500 of prime rib.
Verdict: The Raptors win from a meat perspective.
The Twitter Perspective:
This trade also results in a massive gain in Twitter followers for the Raptors, due to Gay’s star status and Haddadi’s Iranian connections. However, quality of tweets is mostly what a fan base cares about in its athletes. Hamed released this gem this year in July, admitting his sexual promiscuity to over 300,000 followers:
“Seattle basketball camp tomorrow! Excited to see all the little haddadis :))”
Rudy Gay, on the other hand, offers up emotional tweets that allow us all to relate to him as he suffers through tragedy after tragedy. For example:
“Updated my phone and ruined my contact list”
The question Raptors fans have to ask is whether either of these guys’ feeds can compare to Jose’s Spanish exuberance. Here’s a sample tweet:
Verdict: Neutral. Not that Twitter is as important as meat anyways.
The Hair Perspective:
One of the main attributes of Jose, both as a person and a basketball, was his ability to let his facial hair match his mood. His varying degrees of 5 o’clock shadow would let the casual viewer know whether or not he’d been hustled by his postman that morning, or if he’d been out dancing the night before. At its best, his facial hair made him look like a suave fashionista. At its worst, it made him look like just another heroin addict roaming the streets of Barcelona. Ed Davis, while never as dynamic in his facial stylings, also offered promise with his choice of facial hair. For me, his moustache showed the exuberance you want from a young power forward, and in time could have become pleasing on the eyes (from a distance).
However, in Haddadi, the Raptors have stolen a master of hair from the Grizzlies. Often rocking a soul patch, but with the versatility to pull off any look from clean-shaven through to a full beard, Haddadi has the hair, the height, and the eyes to be able to play a full range of B-movie villains, a quality that other Raptors bigs (Bargnani, Aaron Gray) just don’t have. Rudy Gay, on the other hand, is middle-of-the-road when it comes to facial hair. His usual ensemble consists of a thin moustache and a goatee, worn in a style which says “This is where I can grow hair; deal with it.” His face looks like a slightly cleaner version of whatever wheatgrass has been growing on Derozan recently.
Verdict: Raptors Loss. Even Haddadi’s beard growing capabilities won’t make Raptors fans forget about Jose’s maverick approach to 5 o’clock shadow.
Even after looking at the deal from multiple angles, we’ll have to wait for the games to be played to see how the Raptors really did in this trade. Colangelo sold Ed Davis and Jose Calderon when both had hit a rich vein of form, and the Raptors were able to force Memphis’ hand due to Gay’s massive contract. Both of those factors would suggest that this was a smart move from Colangelo. Rudy Gay will step in immediately and be the face of the Raptors franchise. Time will tell us whether or not he helps us with his play or hinders us with his contract.
What we know is that in Jose, the Raptors have lost their second longest serving player of all time, and the franchise leader in assists, with more than double the number of the second person on that list (Alvin Williams). Jose’s departure had felt inevitable this season (at long last), but that doesn’t make it hurt any less for even the most casual Raptors fan. Sadly for him, he didn’t even get traded to a playoff team. Just one more slap in the face for our loyal servant, who always held his head high and let his wrists hang limp.