Name: Aaron Gray
2012-13 Statistics: 42 games played, 12.2 minutes per game, 2.8 points PPG, 3.2 RPG, 0.1 BPG, 53 FG%, 9.0 PER.
Comparison: My blender
Like most people, I have a blender.
My blender is a decent brand -- a Kenmore I think --it's in good shape and it serves its purpose well.
The thing is, I don't use it that often -- perhaps less than I should.
When I do use it, it works well and I am mostly satisfied with it. Sometimes even, using my blender can be part of a really great night.
Ultimately though, my blender remains an appliance that I use only every so often and one that I really don't spend much time thinking about.
This, I think, covers most people's attitudes towards Raptors backup centre Aaron Gray.
At seven-feet tall and 270 pounds, Gray is a big body. For the Raptors, he functions as a rebounder/ post defender that specializes in matching up against the other big bodies in the league.
Unfortunately for Gray, there just aren't that many of those types of players in the league these days and with the emergence of Jonas Valanciunas, Gray is seeing his minutes against those players decline significantly.
This is why, just like my blender, Gray doesn't get used very often either. He played in just over half of the Toronto's games this season.
When he did play, he played for a decent chunk of time -- he averaged 12.2 minutes per game -- and proved to be very useful, serving that purpose of guarding opposing bigs and rebounding the basketball.
Much like my blender, where nights in which it was used that turned out to be fairly notable -- more than a few involved margaritas -- Gray had himself a handful of memorable games this past year.
Gray's most memorable outing came in a January 21st matchup with the Golden State Warriors where he grabbed 10 rebounds and scored a season-high 22 points -- the first and only time he scored in double figures all season.
Every once and a while, Gray will have nights like that -- I think we all remember the MVP chants -- and there is a potential argument to be made that he should get a little more burn on a more consistent basis. But, in Toronto at least, it seems he is destined to be a 10th or 11th guy on the end of the roster.
Such is the plight of my blender. More often than not, it's going to remain on the shelf, in my cupboard even if I should use it more often.
Perhaps it would be more useful to somebody else -- somebody who has more blending needs.