Three reasons the Toronto Raptors had to trade for Marc Gasol

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Toronto Raptors

Toronto Raptors – Marc Gasol (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

The Toronto Raptors are ready to make their move and Marc Gasol might just be the player that can get them over the hump.

Marc Gasol’s journey to becoming a member of the Toronto Raptors has been an interesting one. He was born in Barcelona, Spain. Gasol moved as a teenager to Germantown, Tennessee, a suburb of Memphis, shortly after his brother Pau was drafted by Memphis Grizzlies.

Marc Gasol returned to Europe before declaring for the NBA Draft and being selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. However, before he could play a single game, Gasol’s draft rights were traded as part of a package for his older brother.

Gasol has spent his entire NBA career with the Grizzlies. During his tenure, the Grizzlies have been a perennial playoff team. Personally, Gasol has been selected to three All-Star Teams (2012, 2015 and 2017). Gasol was also named Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

A few days before the trade deadline, Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated reported that the Raptors had offered the Grizzlies Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas in exchange for Gasol and Mike Conley.

This wasn’t the first time the Raptors had been linked to Gasol. In 2017, Mitch Lawrence of Forbes reported that the Raptors were open to moving Valanciunas as part of a package for Gasol.

On February 7th the Raptors finally got their man. Gasol was sent to Toronto in exchange for Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, and a future second-round pick.

At 34 years old, Gasol may no longer be an All-Star. But he is exactly the type of cerebral player that could help the Raptors reach another level.

On the season, Gasol is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.1 steals, while shooting 34.4 percent from three-point range (on 4.2 attempts per game).

Gasol is capable of taking pressure off Lowry and Kawhi Leonard on the offensive end. He can initiate the offense from the high post. Gasol is capable of scoring in a variety of ways. He also provides the Raptors with a defensive anchor. Gasol is the type of player that can help swing a seven-game series.

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