Grizzlies will retire Spaniard Marc Gasol's No. 33
- Author: Lawrence Cooper Feb 10, 2019,
Feb 10, 2019, 0:22
Prior to the trade, the Raptors had expected the center to return against Atlanta on Thursday night, with the team tweeting out a picture of Valanciunas with a quote from him saying, "I'm back".
In acquiring Memphis Grizzlies centre Marc Gasol at the trade deadline for Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles and Delon Wright, the Raptors roster now stands at 10 players (not including Chris Boucher and Jordan Loyd's two-way contracts), meaning the team will definitely look to grab a player or two off the buyout market to fill current holes in the roster.
But the last time that Memphis traded a Gasol brother, it led to Pau Gasol's first championship in 2009, with the Los Angeles Lakers. But adding Gasol to the mix will be a huge addition for the Raptors, who now have multiple winners of the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year award.
Toronto (39-16) is two games back of the Milwaukee Bucks (40-13) atop the Eastern Conference.
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Leonard also has a player option for 2019-20, worth $21 million. This is who we are now, after the trade deadline, outside of buyouts. That Raptors team was swept by Cleveland in the second round of the playoffs. The 7-foot big man had surgery for a dislocated thumb December 12, and hasn't played in a contest since his procedure. "I've been in rumours so many times I don't even look at it", joked Valanciunas according to TSN. Zero. We're good, and I think his mind is focused on this run.
Gasol (7-1, 255) has averaged 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.48 blocks in 33.7 minutes while shooting 48.4 percent from the field, 34.4 percent from three-point range and 77.7 percent from the free throw line in 769 career regular season games (762 starts) in 11 National Basketball Association seasons, all with the Grizzlies. Miles ($8.7 million) and Valanciunas ($17.6 million) have player options, while Wright will become a restricted free agent and is eligible to receive a $3.6 million qualifying offer in June.
The 7-foot Valanciunas is averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds this season.
Over the years, the NBA's trade deadline has been one of the more entertaining times of the season.