Toronto Raptors rumoured to be a landing spot for Marc Gasol

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 25: Marc Gasol
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 25: Marc Gasol /

The Toronto Raptors could find themselves in the running for All-Star centre Marc Gasol, as the Memphis Grizzlies continue to fall apart.

The recent struggles of the Memphis Grizzlies could mean a big opportunity for the Toronto Raptors to get better on the front end, as the team is reportedly in the running to trade for former defensive player of the year Marc Gasol.

According to NBA Insider Mitch Lawrence, Gasol’s name has come up in trade talks after the Grizzlies fired former head coach David Fizdale in the middle of an eight-game losing streak:

But the Raptors won’t be the only team looking to acquire the 32-year-old All-Star centre. As Lawrence reports, there could be a bidding war for Gasol’s services:

"“Among the teams that could make a move for Gasol are Toronto, Cleveland, Boston, and Portland. The Celtics and Cavaliers are seen as the class of the East, with Toronto a notch below. That could set up a potential bidding war that Memphis could use to its advantage in landing the best package for Gasol, 32, a former defensive player of the year.“Industry sources tell me that the Raptors are open to moving center Jonas Valanciunas and have young players the Griz might be interested in pursuing, including Jakob Poeltl and Lucas Nogueira. Gasol would be a marked upgrade for a “now” team that needs to get to a finals with core stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.”"

Jonas Valanciunas‘ name shouldn’t surprise Toronto Raptors fans as a possible trade piece. He has seen limited minutes this season, with Serge Ibaka, Jakob Poeltl and Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira all splitting time at centre.

This season Valanciunas has been averaging 20.1 minutes, 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.6 blocks per game. He has shot 57.1 percent from the field and 86.5 percent from the free throw line.

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While Valanciunas has been working on widening his offensive game and becoming more mobile on both sides of the court, he has struggled to fit the Raptors’ new up-tempo offence.

In potentially landing Gasol, the Toronto Raptors would land an elite piece in the front court to play alongside DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Ibaka.

So far this season Gasol is averaging 34.3 minutes, 19.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. He has shot 41.8 percent from the field and 83.8 percent from the free throw line.

This is not the first time Gasol’s name has been mentioned with the Raptors in trade rumours. In Jan. 2016, ESPN‘s Zach Lowe reported that discussions took place between the Toronto and Grizzlies about Gasol.

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Most fans agree Gasol would be an excellent addition to the Raptors’ lineup. We’re more concerned about your opinion regarding the likelihood of it actually happening. Share your thought in the comments section below.