The 2019 NBA trade deadline is really kicking into gear. After a bit of a slow start to the day, we’ve got our first really big trade of the day.
According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Memphis Grizzlies have agreed to a deal to send Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles and a 2024 second-round pick.
After the Milwaukee Bucks — acquiring Nikola Mirotic — and Philadelphia 76ers — picking up Tobias Harris — made big moves to try and bolster their status atop the Eastern Conference, it appears the Raptors felt the pressure to jump into the arms race. They did so in a big way, acquiring Gasol for a pretty low price.
It will be interesting to see just how much of an upgrade this deal is for the Raptors, but it was certainly worth a roll of the dice considering how little they had to give up for the veteran big man. Especially considering how much pressure they’re under to go on a deep playoff run — something that could be vital if they want to convince Kawhi Leonard to stay.
As for the Grizzlies, this deal officially brings the Grit ‘N’ Grind era to a close. They had resisted the idea of trading Gasol or Mike Conley for a few years, but their big swoon this season made them finally face reality; trying to build around that duo no longer made sense.
It’s a bit surprising that this was all they were able to get back for Gasol, but the big man is clearly past his prime and could opt-in to a player option for next season for $25 million. Valanciunas is a solid player, but he doesn’t make much sense for the Grizzlies long term, and neither does Miles. Wright is a nice wing to add, and extra picks are never bad, but a second-rounder from the Raptors isn’t exactly that exciting.