Before we begin though, I have to say that penning this version of Lunchbox Links was kind of a funny experience because only about 10 months ago we brought you this - essentially the inverse of today's edition.
Let's kick this one off though with SB Nation's take on the trade as I participated in a roundtable with some of the other basketball minds in our network.
Next, we'll hit up our crew of local Raptors writers for their takes on the trade including:
Also, the crew at Raptors Republic break things down, and their own Tim Chisholm and Raptorblog's Joseph Casciaro both argue that the trade should make the Raptors "less-tankish" in the short term, here, and here, respectively.
And how about Bryan Colangelo's take? Yes, the Raptors' former GM weighed in recently via the Sacramento Bee. Of course he did.
Examining both sides of the deal we move onto Grantland's Zach Lowe for his opus on the trade, and Yahoo! Sports' Doug Brockwell, both of whom don't exactly view the trade as a slam dunk for Sacramento.
Neither does ESPN.com's Kevin Pelton, who gave Sacramento a D grade for this move, while giving the Raptors an A.It's an ESPN.com Insider piece but from the article:
Though the Kings have been competitive recently, they remain miles away from playoff contention in the deep Western Conference. Sacramento is further out of the eighth seed than the current No. 8 (Golden State) is from leading the conference. And while Gay might work better in California's capital, adding him doesn't solve the Kings' defensive woes or upgrade the team's outside shooting. So Sacramento will likely continue to tread water in the West, with less flexibility than it had before this deal.
And on the Raps' side:
The only thing not to like about this trade is the Raptors taking on some salary for next season. A deal that completely cleared the cap would have merited an A+. This version still earns far better than a passing grade.
Finally, from last night's press conference held by Masai Ujiri regarding the Rudy Gay trade, Eric Koreen notes that while it wasn't said, it looks like tank-mode is in full effect, while the Star's Cathal Kelly reiterates this point, and notes that the team may not only be looking at one lottery pick this summer, but perhaps two.
Perchance to dream...
One last link for today. Despite a nasty cold, I jumped on TDB Sports' "The Double Bonus" with Doug Branson and crew to talk about the Rudy Gay trade, as well as some classic Canadian comedians. Enjoy!