The Raptors aren't the only ones who benefited from the Rudy Gay trade.

Two incontrovertible facts succeeded the Rudy Gay trade:

1. The Raptors improved by leaps and bounds.

2. Rudy Gay improved by leaps and bounds.

The Raptors' rise has been well-documented to date. Toronto is now 13-5 since Gay was shipped to Sacramento for spare parts after starting 6-12. In particular, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry have thrived with more opportunities to shine. The pieces fit a whole lot better without the pressure of Gay's 20 shots (most inefficiently) per game on the offense.

But less explored is the reality that Gay too has been much, much better removed from the Raptors.

When the trade happened, I offered up two theories on Gay's devolution from a near-All-Star in Memphis to a laughingstock in Toronto. One was that a shoulder injury had destroyed his shooting mechanics and left him as a highly paid shooter who can't shoot. The other theory suggested that at lower usage rates, Rudy could still be an efficient scorer. This is the graph for that theory.

Usage rate is the percentage of all possessions a player ends (via a shot, drawn foul or turnover) while on the court. In Toronto, Gay was up at 30 percent, which is really high. Obviously, his efficiency at that level was abysmal.

In Sacramento, he joined a fully formed offense centered on post play from DeMarcus Cousins and an aggressive Isaiah Thomas. Cousins led the league in usage rate (34 percent) at the time of the trade; I.T. was around 28 percent as a reserve. The worry was that Gay would pop in and take his usual number of shots while remaining inefficient.

Instead, Gay's been much more like the Memphis version of himself, fitting in on offense instead of hijacking it. His usage rate has dropped below 25 percent, third on the team. Thomas' has settled in at 26 percent. Cousins, meanwhile, remains above 33 percent. Gay was taking about 21 shots per 36 minutes in Toronto. (I included free throws in that figure.) In Sacramento, he's taking roughly 17 shots per 36 minutes.