Toronto Raptors Roundup: Trade Deadline Week

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

The Toronto Raptors certainly looked like a team that is ‘all in’ making the move for Marc Gasol at the deadline. They also maintained their position in the upper echelon of the East by winning three games on the road this week.

The Toronto Raptors made a splash on Thursday’s trade deadline shipping out Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, and a second-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for Marc Gasol.

Their Conference rivals were also busy making significant additions in preparation for the playoffs. Both Milwaukee and Philadelphia got significantly better with astute moves and are clearly in win-now mode. The Celtics stood pat, apparently happy with their roster as is while keeping their options open for a potential move for Anthony Davis this summer.

With the additional, more minor moves, of Greg Monroe and Malachi Richardson being shipped out, the Raptors now have a few roster spots open and will be active on the buyout market, most likely looking to add three-point shooting and depth at the guard position. The 10-day contract to Ben McLemore will fill one of those spots but Ujiri has promised to be active in filling out the roster as we near the All-Star break.

Speaking of the All-Star game, Kawhi Leonard was picked up by Team LeBron with the fifth pick, while Kyle Lowry was taken second last by Giannis Antetokounmpo.

And, of course, there were some games to be played this week. Toronto hit the road in an east coast swing facing off against Philadelphia, Atlanta, and New York. How did they do? Check out our Game Recap and highlights below.

Game Recap

Toronto at Philadelphia

The Raptors had an electric first quarter, dropping 40 on the Philadelphia 76’ers on their way to a 119-107 win. The Raptors extended the lead to 17 by the end of the half. The only drama on this night was the foul trouble Serge Ibaka got into. Ibaka, who has been great on the offensive end of late, racked up his fourth foul early in the second half sending him to the bench. Greg Monroe, in his final game as a Raptor, filled in respectably, scoring 10 points and pulling in some key rebounds.

The Raptors finished the season series against Philadelphia going 3-1.

Toronto at Atlanta

The Raptors were shorthanded on Thursday night as they faced off against the lowly Atlanta Hawks. Following the trade for Gasol, the Raps only had nine players dressed. Didn’t matter. The Raptors came through with the 119-101 win.

The Raptors started slow, giving up a double-digit early on but managed to figure things out in time, largely on the back of another great performance by Pascal Siakam who dropped 33 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists. The victory must have been a bittersweet for the remaining players as they had to say goodbye earlier that day to traded teammates Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright and C.J. Miles.

Toronto at New York

The Raptors welcomed Gasol to the lineup Saturday night with an absolutely dreadful first quarter. The Knicks came out with energy while the Raptors, well, just came out. A 14-3 lead early on forced Nick Nurse to call a timeout. The Raptors somewhat righted the ship after that, going on a 20-6 run themselves.  Lowry had a big game for the Raps dropping 22 points, including going five for seven from three. Gasol had seven points and six rebounds in his debut. The Raptors eventually came away with a sloppy 104-99 win.

The noisy Raptor fans at Madison Square Garden gives you some indication of the excitement level and anticipation across Raptor nation. Hopes are that Gasol, at 34, can bring his high IQ, excellent passing abilities and defensive prowess to Toronto as they chase a deep run in the playoffs.

The Week Ahead

The Raptors play only two games this week as All-Star weekend takes place next weekend. Three Raptors will take place in the festivities, with Danny Green participating in the three-point Shooting Contest and Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry playing in the game next Sunday.

Brooklyn at Toronto

The Raptors have split the two games they’ve played against the improving Brooklyn Nets this year, winning big back in January. The Nets are now in sixth in the East, hovering just above the .500 mark. D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen remain thorns in the side of the Raptors but Toronto should be successful if they can limit those two.

How every deal at the deadline impacts the Raptors. dark. Next

Washington at Toronto

The deadline trades of Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr show that the Washington Wizards front office has finally accepted that the team, as it stood, was not good enough. The injury to John Wall, which will see him on the shelf for at least the remainder of this season and probably some of next, means the team is fully in the hands of Raptor killer Bradley Beal for the time being.