Raptors acquire Marc Gasol from Grizzlies for package including Valanciunas
00:21, Feb 10, 2019
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Lowry is now by far the longest-serving member of the Toronto Raptors following the trade of Jonas Valanciunas to Memphis on Thursday, and Toronto's president admitted Lowry was aware of trade rumours.
Memphis chose to hold onto franchise point guard Mike Conley - he was also informed last month a trade was possible - as the Raptors made another bold move created to keep Toronto on the heels of the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference. The 34-year-old Gasol is a three-time National Basketball Association all-star who is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.1 steals a game in 2018. Gasol has a player option for the 2019-20 season that would see him earn over $25 million.
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.
A three-time All-Star and the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year, Gasol has a 15 percent trade bonus that is valued at $1.28 million. We have a good future in front of us for this season, so I just want to go on the court and play ball and win the games.
The Warriors don't face the Raptors again during the regular season, so they will only match up against Gasol if the two teams reach the NBA Finals. I don't think there's one thing I can say or do [to change that].
Valanciunas was cleared to play today after missing 25 games with a dislocated left thumb and was expected in Toronto's lineup for Thursday's game at Atlanta.
Overall, it will be hard to see Gasol in anything other than a Memphis uniform, especially after the way the season started, but keep in mind, this can the chance for him to get the ring he deserves. ESPN, which first reported the deal, said CJ Miles and Delon Wright will also be going to Memphis. Valanciunas was averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds at the time of his injury. Of his first six selections, five will become free agents at season's end.
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