The final hour until the trade deadline Thursday brought one of the biggest moves of the NBA season thus far. 


The Grizzlies, after much speculation about whether or not J.B. Bickerstaff's team would rebuild, traded Marc Gasol to the Raptors. In exchange for Memphis' all-time leading scorer and rebounder, Toronto dealt Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, and a 2024 2nd-round pick to the Grizzlies. 

Valanciunas, the 26-year-old native of Latvia, is the centerpiece of the deal for Memphis. The 7-footer recently healed from a dislocated thumb that had kept him out of the lineup since December 12. 


Although Valanciunas' injury shouldn't have too great of an impact on his future value for the Grizzlies, trading Gasol is still a risky move. 

Memphis Grizzlies: Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles, 2024 second-round draft pick 

Grade: B- 


I understand the rationale for the Grizzlies here. Finally accepting the steep odds they face towards making the playoffs in the stacked West - despite winning two games in a row, Memphis has gone 3-7 in their last 10 games. Here's what I don't love about the trade: the Grizzlies got quantity, but not necessarily quality. Delon Wright is still young, but C.J. Miles and the 2024 second-round pick aren't too valuable. This trade basically boils down to Valanciunas for Gasol. While Valanciunas is a good player, he's averaging just under 13 points per game, and just over 7 rebounds per game. 


What I don't love about the deal is that it accompanies Memphis' bizarre determination to hold onto Mike Conley Jr. Mentorship aside, the Grizzlies should be trying to hoard assets. This deal isn't strong enough for Memphis to merit trading the franchise leader in points, rebounds, and blocks. 

​​Toronto Raptors: Marc Gasol 

Grade: B+


This trade boils down to Masai Ujiri's win-now mentality for Toronto. With Kawhi possibly on his way out of town after this season, the 2019 season might be their best shot at winning a title. Bringing Marc Gasol to the Raptors will boast a terrific starting lineup with Gasol, Lowry, Leonard, Pascal Siakam, and Serge Ibaka. 


With the trade deadline coming to a close, I think Toronto got the better of this deal. What's more, the cleared roster spots might allow the Raptors to be involved in the buyout market. With Toronto fortifying its roster, there is a tremendous battle brewing in the East, between the Celtics, Raptors, Bucks, and 76ers. 


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