Marc Gasol is on the move after all – just not to the team anyone anticipated. In a shocking bit of deadline-day drama, the Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies are finalizing a deal that will send the three-time All-Star north of the border, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
In exchange, the Grizzlies will get Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, and a future second-round pick:
Toronto is planning to send Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Milles and a 2024 second-round pick to the the Grizzlies for Gasol, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2019
Every indication since Tuesday was that Marc Gasol would ultimately end up with the Charlotte Hornets. Some league insiders thought a trade between the teams would be completed by night's end, and the fact that Gasol's name plate was removed from his locker at FedExForum added fuel to that fire. A deal wasn't agreed upon after all, but Gasol didn't travel with the Grizzlies to Oklahoma City on Wednesday, lending further credence to the notion that a trade – still likely with the Hornets – was imminent.
It's not like there weren't rumblings that precipitated Toronto's interest in Gasol, though. The team reportedly offered Kyle Lowry and Valanciunas to Memphis for he and Mike Conley earlier this week, a proposal that was quickly rebuffed by the Grizzlies.
Gasol, though not the the player he once was, should nevertheless prove an upgrade for the Raptors at center. What's unclear is how first-year coach Nick Nurse will adjust his rotation to accommodate a seasoned veteran who not only deserves to start, but expects to be on the floor for tipoff.
The most seamless move would be shifting Serge Ibaka to the bench, basically affording him the role Valanciunas has played since the season tipped off. Pascal Siakam, the thinking goes, is just too dynamic to bring off the bench, despite how effective he would be in a primary playmaking role against second units. Nurse hasn't been afraid to use the regular season as a test lab for various lineup constructions and playing styles, a strategy he'll no doubt continue experimenting with after the acquisition of Gasol.
Basically, it remains to be seen both where Big Spain fits in with the Raptors and how his offensive skills will be utilized. But this is a major coup for Toronto regardless, and another blockbuster move in the frantic arms race at the top of the Eastern Conference.