Toronto Raptors: Trading for Marc Gasol a gamble worth taking

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

It was a busy NBA trade deadline and the Toronto Raptors made a surprising move trading for Marc Gasol, paying a big price to do so.

As other Eastern Conference contenders were making moves to bolster their chances to make the NBA Finals, you had a feeling Masai Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors weren’t going to stand idle.

There were rumblings suggesting the team was in talks with the Memphis Grizzlies and it appears those conversations finally led to a deal getting done, as the Raptors acquired Marc Gasol. It is not an insignificant deal as it provides the team with a more credible offensive option, while also getting better defensively.

The deal serves a couple of purposes for the Raptors as they can fill out the rest of their roster using the buyout market, while also letting the rest of the league know they mean business.

Below are the full details of the trade:

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What Toronto sent to Memphis wasn’t insignificant, as Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and C.J. Miles were a part of the team’s rotation off the bench. The team also moved Greg Monroe and another second round pick to the Brooklyn Nets for cash considerations.

The Raptors do assume some risk in this trade, as Gasol carries an expensive player option next season at $25 million. They also need to fill out the rest of the roster, with only 26 games to get it all together ahead of the postseason.

However, Gasol is averaging 15.7 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists this season, with his best asset being his elite passing skills, defensive ability and capable three-point shooting at 34.4 percent.  Michael Grange of Sportsnet also notes that Gasol should help with his play-making ability and will work well as a pick-and-roll option with Kyle Lowry.

Given the risk the Raptors took to trade for Kawhi Leonard with the strong possibility he leaves at the end of the season, there is no way Ujiri and company could sit back while the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks made massive additions.

The next couple of days could prove to be vital for the Raptors. They need to be aggressive in putting together the rest of their roster and hope they can get it all together in time, to be ready for the most important playoff run in franchise history.

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What do you think about the Gasol trade? Are the Raptors taking a big risk and will it be worth it? Let us know in the comments below.