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Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)
Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri (Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

Tu Thanh Ha

Toronto Raptors retool, again Add to ...

Farewell Rudy Gay, we barely had gotten used to your trigger-happy style when you became the latest big-contract Raptor to be tossed away. Thanks to the NBA salary cap rules, the Raptors' history of mediocre management and the team's frequent estrangement from playoff hopes, Toronto is no stranger to attempts at improving its roster through salary dumps. Here's a look at some past examples:

The Canadian Press

Jalen Rose

Eight days after replacing Rob Babcock as general manager, Wayne Embry dealt Raptor swingman Jalen Rose to the always spendthrift the New York Knicks by trade deadline in February 2006.

Rose was earning $15.7 million that year and the Raptors would have had to fork out $16.9 million the next season if they had kept him.

In return for Rose, a first-round draft pick and cash, Toronto got centre Antonio Davis, a former Raptor who had left town in unhappy circumstances three years before, after he had complained about the team's management and about his children having to learn the metric system and the O Canada anthem while attending school in Canada.

Davis was in the final year of a $65-million (U.S.), five-year contract but started only eight games before he was cut by the Raptors because of lingering back problems.

Reuters

Jermaine O'Neal

Under general manager Bryan Colangelo, the Raptors in the summer of 2008 traded T.J. Ford, Rasho Nesterovic and the No. 17 pick in the draft for Indiana Pacers centre Jermaine O'Neal.

The draft pick Toronto gave away was Roy Hibbert, who grew into a strong, reliable centre for Indiana. Meanwhile, O'Neal and his gimpy knee lasted just one season in Toronto before the Raptors unloaded him -- and the $23 million he would have been owed for 2009-10 -- to the Miami Heat in February 2009.

Toronto also sent Jamario Moon and a conditional first-round pick in return for forward Shawn Marion, guard Marcus Banks and cash considerations.

Marion, aka The Matrix, was touted as a more athletic, better frontline fit for Toronto's franchise man, power forward Chris Bosh. But Marion also had an expiring $17.8 million contract that would have given the Raptors more cap flexibility.

Reuters

Shawn Marion

Less than six months after his arrival, Marion was gone by the July start of free agency in 2009. Toronto's latest infatuation was now the Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu, who had opted out of his contract. To create the cap space for Turkoglu and the five-year $53-million contract he wanted, the Raptors engineered a four-team sign-and-trade deal that sent Marion, forward Kris Humphries and center Nathan Jawai to the Dallas Mavericks.

Marion went on to win a championship with Dallas in 2011.

Turkoglu, meanwhile, had a disappointing season that included being benched after reports that he was spotted having a night out in Yorkville when he was supposed to be ill with a stomach flu. He was traded the following summer to the Phoenix Suns for guard Leandro Barbosa and forward/center Dwayne Jones.

US Presswire

Andrea Bargnani

The first major move by new general manager Masai Ujiri was getting rid of former No. 1 overall pick Andrea Bargnani, an endemically disappointing  7-footer with two years and $22.2-million remaining on his contract. In an off-season trade, Toronto sent Bargnani to the Knicks in return for three bench players -- Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, Quentin Richardson -- and draft picks.

As proof that the three players were just trade tokens, Camby and Richardson were waived before training camp opened.

The Canadian Press

Rudy Gay

During the weekend, Ujiri cemented his reputation as someone able to swap overpriced assets when he moved Rudy Gay, a small forward with a reputation for poor shot selection. The 14th highest paid player in NBA, Gya is earning $17.9 million this season, with a player option for $19.3 million next year.

Gay, Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy were sent to the Sacramento Kings in return for Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes, players with less onerous contracts, two of which are expiring.

The speculation is now that Ujiri will try to get rid of point guard Kyle Lowry.

Follow on Twitter: @TuThanhHa

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