Raptors trade Valanciunas to Grizzlies for Gasol in 4-player deal

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The Toronto Raptors, chasing the Milwaukee Bucks for first place in the Eastern Conference, overcame Joel Embiid and the 76ers, 119-107, in Philadelphia in the National Basketball Association on Tuesday, February 5 (Wednesday, February 6, Manila time).

The former University of Utah star point guard and ex-Jazz shooting guard will both be sent to Memphis in part of a trade that will send center Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Raptors are now second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 39-16, while the Grizzlies rank among the worst in the league at 22-23. I just want to go on the court and play ball and win games.

Valanciunas, Wright and Miles can become free agents next season. Clearly, the Raptors are at least contemplating some moves to try to upgrade around All-Star Kawhi Leonard, who's in a contract year.

To go along with his scoring, Gasol is an excellent passer.

It is a power move for Toronto, as it looks to improve its roster as it vies with Philadelphia and Milwaukee, among others, in the Eastern Conference. However, news of Valančiūnas' return was quickly disrupted after news broke that he had been traded to Memphis Grizzlies. Wright is a nice wing to add, and extra picks are never bad, but a second-rounder from the Raptors isn't exactly that exciting. But three of the four Raptors who played the most minutes against the Cavs last May - DeMar DeRozan, Miles, and Valanciunas - are now all gone.

Gasol also has a $25.6 million player option for next season. While everyone wondered what Ujiri would do after another embarrassing playoff exit, we now have our answer: He blew it up.

"I personally want to be in Toronto", Lowry said, per The Athletic.

The Raptors are doing all they can to get to the NBA Finals this season, but you already knew that.