The Toronto Raptors made a splash at the NBA trade deadline acquiring All-Star center Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies. How will this former All-NBA big man help push Toronto past their Eastern rivals?
Following significant deals from other Eastern conference powers Milwaukee and Philadelphia, the Toronto Raptors would not go quietly into the weekend without making a big deal of their own. The Raptors poached three-time All-Star Marc Gasolfrom the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, and a 2024 2nd-round pick.
Philadelphia started everything off by acquiring sharpshooter Tobias Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers and the Bucks sniped stretch-four Nikola Mirotic from the Pelicans. Indiana has been linked to Wesley Matthews and even though Boston stayed quiet, they are still arguably the East’s biggest threat.
Raptors President Masai Ujiri isn’t one to make big deadline deals. His biggest acquisition at this juncture in previous years was P.J. Tucker (Although the Serge Ibaka deal was deadline-ish). But with all the upgrades the Raptors’ rivals were making, he had to do something. And he did more than that.
Gasol is the biggest addition out of all these deadline moves. Not only does he have the most accolades and playoff experience of the players acquired, but he also bolsters the team’s overall competence in both sides of the ball.
A great part about this deal is Toronto didn’t have to surrender another first-round draft pick or part ways with an invaluable player from the rotation. Gasol is much better than Valanciunas, and while Wright will be missed, other players can fill his minutes.
Gasol is a stud and will push the Raptors into another level. But will he be enough to lead them past the other elite Eastern teams? Here’s his full scouting report.
Marc Gasol shared a goodbye message to Memphis Grizzlies fans on Friday, the day after he was traded to the Toronto Raptors.
In the tweet, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer expressed his thanks to Memphis.
t was a sentiment he shared in various forms over the past few weeks as the Grizzlies entertained offers for the 34-year-old center.
“My relationship with the Grizzlies might change, but my relationship with Memphis won’t,” Gasol said after reports surfaced last month that the Grizzlies planned to listen to trade offers for him. “What I feel inside and how I feel about Memphis and its people, it has nothing to do with the franchise or a temporary thing.”