Rick Zamperin: Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri is going all in

Sherman Parsons
February 8, 2019

The Memphis Grizzlies have signaled the end of an era, agreeing to trade franchise cornerstone Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors ahead of Thursday's National Basketball Association trade deadline.

The Toronto Raptors have reportedly agreed to a trade with the Memphis Grizzlies that will send veteran center Marc Gasol north of the border in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round pick.

The Pacers also remain involved in discussions to acquire Conley, The Athletic reported Wednesday. Gasol, while at 34 is eight years older than the big Lithuanian, is a three-time All-Star, two-time All-NBA, and a former Defensive Player of the Year. Second, and more importantly, Ujiri is banking on this move helping Toronto go on a long playoff run, which may convince Kawhi Leonard to re-sign with the Raps after this season.

Wright has been with Toronto since being picked 20th overall by the Raptors out of Utah in 2015. "I've been in rumours so many times I don't even look at it", joked Valanciunas according to TSN. He's the best centre the Raptors have ever had, just like that.

Toronto played short-handed due to the trades Thursday night but still pulled out a 119-101 win over the Hawks. I think that's just how they work, and they operate.

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Jonas Valanciunas had been sidelined since December 12 (Dec. 13, PHL time) with a dislocated left thumb.

Valanciunas told reporters in Atlanta on Thursday morning: "I am really excited".

"And when Michael Jordan called me, my idol, I thought, let's go", Parker continued.

Gasol is 7-foot-1 and averaging 15.7 points and 8.6 rebounds in 53 games this season.

Gasol took home the award after the 2013 season. His shooting woes had become a hot topic among fans of the Raptors, who have struggled with the deep ball in recent weeks.

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