Raptors nearing an agreement to land Gasol

By Canadian Press	
	 		Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas ready to return from dislocated thumb				Feb 09 2019

The Raptors are planning to deal away their former fifth overall draft pick (2011) Jonas Valanciunas along with Delon Wright and C.J. Miles to Memphis.

Gasol, a three-time all-star, is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.1 steals per game this season.

The trade comes after a flurry of activity in the Eastern Conference that saw several potential playoff opponents of the Raptors make moves to bolster their squads. "I think it's amusing to say, as a coach-player deal, but I think we'll be friends for life man, for sure". The version of Gasol from even two years ago would render this deal a no-brainer.

"I think that there's a lot of positives with a guy like Gasol, and I think majority come with being battle-tested", Nurse said.

Kyle Lowry is fully aware of the speculation and uncertainty surrounding his future with the Toronto Raptors but says he hopes to stay with the team.

The Memphis Grizzlies agreed to trade veteran center Marc Gasol to the Toronto Raptors on Thursday. The 76ers and Bucks have also made major moves as the trade deadline nears, with the Sixers landing Tobias Harris and Milwaukee getting Nikola Mirotic. The 7-foot big man had surgery for a dislocated thumb December 12, and hasn't played in a contest since his procedure.

The 7-foot Valanciunas is averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds this season.

In 25.6 minutes per game this season, the 26-year-old is averaging 14 points and 10.5 rebounds, with 3.9 of his boards coming on the offensive end. With the team also moving Green, this should free up minutes for young forward Ivan Rabb behind Jaren Jackson Jr., and both players have shown quite a bit of upside to this point. A member of the Grizzlies' 2013 Western Conference Finals team, the Barcelona, Spain native became the first European-born player to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award (2012-13).

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