Raptors acquire Marc Gasol from Grizzlies for package including Valanciunas

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The Grizzlies continue to shop Mike Conley.

Gasol, 34, is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and a career-high 4.7 assists (which ranks second among National Basketball Association centers, trailing only Nikola Jokic's 7.7). The 7-foot-1 Gasol gives the Raptors a deft scorer and passer to complement superstar Kawhi Leonard and Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam in the frontcourt.

They tried to rebuild around Conley and Gasol, who had been among just six active National Basketball Association players to spend their entire National Basketball Association careers of at least 10 seasons with one franchise.

This move, which comes less than a day after the Philadelphia 76ers swung a deal for Tobias Harris and just hours after the Milwaukee Bucks stole stretch-4 Nikola Mirotic, helps Toronto keep pace with the other contenders at the top of the conference standings.


Gasol has been with the Grizzlies for 11 seasons, which was tied with Russell Westbrook for the fourth-longest tenure with one franchise among active players.

And Conley's tenure might only last the rest of this season.

"(Gasol) is one of the best fives in the league for a long time now, perennial all-star, defensive player of the year", VanVleet said. The amount of his bonus (if not waived) will be applied to his $24.1 million salary. He has one season beyond this one on his contract, and the $13 million he makes in 2019-20 could make him a trade asset should he be acquired by the Grizzlies.

Valanciunas is averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game this season despite largely coming off the bench. He had surgery after suffering a dislocated left thumb on December 12 and has not played since.


After Thursday night's game, in which an undermanned Raptors squad eventually overcame a young Hawks team, Nurse said he was excited to see what Gasol would mean to his roster. They also lose Wright and Miles, the former a talented guy who does all the little things right but struggled to find a defined role on a deep team, and the latter a mercenary shooter who has unfortunately struggled this season to shoot.

Memphis is now $668,000 below the luxury tax threshold. Casspi, 30, has been sidelined with a knee injury, and his return this season wasn't guaranteed.

Conley has tallied 20.4 points and 6.4 assists per game while knocking down 36.5 percent of his 3-point attempts in 2018-19.


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