Toronto Raptors keep tabs on former teammates turned Sacramento Kings

Quincy Acy, Marcus Thornton and Rudy Gay on the bench against the Houston Rockets. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

Kyle Lowry talked of dinner plans yesterday night with Rudy Gay. Terrence Ross, meanwhile, spoke of visiting Quincy Acy at his new home in Sacramento. They may not play for the same team anymore, but it is clear that the bond between members of the Toronto Raptors and their former-teammates-turned-Sacramento-Kings still remains.

“It’s gonna be interesting,” Lowry said after Raptors practice in Sacramento yesterday when asked about playing against his old teammates for the first time since that blockbuster trade. “For me, it’s a game to me. I’m still gonna go out and be competitive.”Since the trade, the 27-year-old guard has paid attention to how his old teammates have fared in their new surroundings. Lowry thinks that Gay has been “more aggressive offensively” in a Kings uniform while Acy and Gray have gotten opportunities to show how effective they can be.

Gay has flourished as a member of the Kings and played some of the best basketball of his career.  With the Kings, Gay has averaged 20.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting better than 50 percent from the field. Lowry feels that playing off a talented young center like DeMarcus Cousins has definitely helped Gay find his game in Sacramento.

“I think that gives him an opportunity to dominate the ball on the perimeter,” Lowry said. “And you got somebody inside that you can rest (on) a little bit and you can give him the ball and say, ‘Go make a play big fella.’ When you got two guys like that and with a great point guard, that’s a good complementary trio.”

Lowry is also happy to see Acy have success with his new team. The Kings’ second-year forward spent much of his rookie season under Lowry’s watch, both learning the NBA ropes and serving the veteran point guard as part of his initiation into the league. He’s become a key piece of head coach Michael Malone’s rotation, appearing in 27 games with the Kings after playing in just seven contests with the Raptors before the trade.

“I’m gonna foul the hell out of Q if I get the chance,” Lowry added jokingly of his plans to rattle Acy in tonight’s game.

Terrence Ross is also happy to see Acy take advantage of his new life in Sacramento. Ross and Acy came into the league together after the Raptors selected them in the 2012 NBA Draft. They became very good friends while learning the ins and outs of the league together last season and remain in close contact despite no longer being teammates.

When Ross scored 51 points against the Los Angeles Clippers nearly two weeks ago, Acy was active on social media, cheering on his old teammate through Twitter.  Ross said the two exchanged texts about his career night after the game.

“I’m happy for him,” Ross said of Acy’s new opportunity with the Kings. “I tell him that all the time. He’s getting an opportunity to play. He’s showing what he can do. He’s doing it. He’s going out there playing. I see some of his highlights from time to time. I’m just proud of him because we’ve been through so much and all he wanted was that chance and now he’s getting it.”

Ross was appreciative of the time he spent with Gray and Gay as well. The 22-year-old swingman suggested that his experience under their tutelage helped him grow as an NBA player.

“Just playing with them, they teach you a lot,” Ross said of Gray and Gay. “I’m just happy for them and happy that they’re getting their chance to do their thing.”

Ross, Lowry and the Raptors square off against Gay, Acy, Gray and the Kings for the first time since that seven-player blockbuster trade later this evening. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Sleep Train Arena.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.