Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Grizzlies trade Gasol to Raptors for Valanciunas, others

Grizzlies trade Gasol to Raptors for Valanciunas, others

A fan favourite in Toronto, Valanciunas showed flashes of promise with the Raptors but never fully materialized into a dominant centre.

The Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to trade center Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round draft pick, league sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Thursday.

The Grizzlies have been shopping Gasol and star point guard Mike Conley for a month. Though he's now in the twilight of his career, the three-time All-Star is having a nice season in Memphis, averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. He had surgery after suffering a dislocated left thumb on December 12 and has not played since. The Spaniard is slated to make $24.1 million this year and has a player option for $25.6 million next season. Whether he can still reach the heights of peak Gasol, a player the Raptors had eyes on over the years according to intermittent reports, is of more debate.

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Gasol, 34, was in his 12th season with Memphis.

The trade deadline ends at 2 p.m. Thursday. "I love Toronto and I want to stay there". In landing him, Toronto went from a team that was being passed as it stood still to striding aggressively back into the Eastern Conference race, otherwise known as the fight to be pantsed by the Golden State Warriors in the Finals. He's now averaging 4.7 assists per game, the highest mark of his career and the second-most among centres this season behind only Nikola Jokic.

Miles, also a free agent in 2020, is averaging 5.5 points with a.314 shooting percentage from 3-point range.

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