Toronto Raptors: Grading the Marc Gasol trade

(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /

What the Raptors Lost

It is always hard to say goodbye. The Raptors, unfortunately, had to sacrifice fan favourites in order to get their man. Though it is part of the business, the personnel who remain on the Raptors shared their sorrow, seeing friends and colleagues move on. On a personal level, this may be difficult for some of the players. Professionally, they are likely to now see greater success.

Jonas Valanciunas was the biggest (both figuratively and literally) player the Raps had to include. He will fill the void on the Grizzlies left by Gasol. Though they play the same position, the Lithuanian is a much different player.

He is able to crash the glass, pick up rebounds, and convert on short shots and putbacks. Defensively, JV has always been a liability. He will often watch the fourth quarter from the bench because he cannot be trusted. He also does not have the same stroke from outside the perimeter. He worked on improving this element of his game, but still only puts up wide open looks.

C.J. Miles has had a disappointing season. He has struggled all year finding his stroke. He has been so unreliable that Nurse handed him six DNPs in the month of January.

Miles has also been the scapegoat for the team’s shooting woes. Whether this is fair or not, his game is centered around making triples. Without this ability, there is little reason to provide him with meaningful minutes. This would be the realization of the Raptors as well.

Miles fell out of the rotation this season. If he wasn’t seeing much playing time in the regular season then in playoffs he could have very well seen none. Miles was simply expendable.

The same can be said for Delon Wright. Though in the month of February he looked spectacular, playing with far more aggression than he has in the past, he was still more valuable as a trade piece than a member of the Raptors. Wright has shown glimpses of brilliance and the ability to make the finger roll layup look easy.

It just happens that in Toronto, he was the third of three-point guards. In the playoffs, Wright wasn’t likely to be given many minutes ahead of Lowry or Fred VanVleet. As a draftee of the Raptors, it was likely difficult to part ways with someone who they helped develop and grow. However, he will now get new opportunities with the Grizzlies.