The Toronto Raptors acquired Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, CJ Miles, Delon Wright and a 2024 second-round draft pick. The Raptors made a deal at the NBA trading deadline to upgrade their roster and try to become Eastern Conference Champs. The Raptors currently are 39-16 and two games behind the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors had to make a deal after the Philadelphia 76ers made a blockbuster trade this week and the Bucks acquired Nikola Mirotic today at the deadline.
Gasol is a three-time All Star and the Grizzlies franchise leader in points, blocks, rebounds and field goals made. Gasol is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists this season. The 2013 Defensive Player of the Year Gasol is a better passer, shot blocker and defender than Valanciunas. Him and two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard will give forwards and centers matchup problems together.
The 26-year-old Valanciunas is averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. The Grizzlies have a younger center now that can fit into their future plans. Gasol is 34 years old now and getting closer to retirement, the Raptors need to win now with him. Gasol has a player option for next season and has never advanced past the Conference Finals. The Raptors are hoping this trade and Kawhi can lead them to their first ever NBA Finals appearance.