National Basketball Association trade deadline: Raptors acquire Marc Gasol from Grizzlies

Kyle Lowry

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With the end of the trade deadline comes the next big stage for the Toronto Raptors, which is looking at the buyout market for upgrades on what is now a depleted roster.

"Marc brings significant playoff experience to our team, which along with his savviness and leadership skills really helps position us for our ultimate postseason goal", Raptors president Masai Ujiri said Thursday night.

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Given their position in the standings (they have the second-most wins in the NBA) and the uncertain future of Kawhi Leonard, the Raptors are clearly in win-now mode. Moving forward, Memphis has added a few young pieces and moved a decent-sized contract in Gasol in the process.

In a separate deal, the Raptors traded veteran center Greg Monroe and a 2021 second-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for cash considerations. He has played the most minutes in Grizzlies history, is first in points scored, first in rebounds, first in blocks and first in free-throws made. He was a part of a core group of players that helped shape the identity of this franchise on and off the court and were embraced by the City of Memphis.

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Though he's now in the twilight of his career, the three-time All-Star is having a nice season in Memphis, averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. Conley is third at 12 seasons.

Gasol spent his teenage years in Memphis after his brother, Pau, was traded to the club in 2001 and blossomed into a high school basketball star before his 11-year run with the organization.

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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. Valanciunas and Miles have player options, and Wright will become a restricted free agent. The under is also 5-2 in the Pelicans' last seven games versus the Southwest, is 5-1 in the Grizzlies' last six games overall and cashed in seven straight Memphis games when it faces an opponent with a losing record.

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