Raptors nearing deal for Marc Gasol

09 February, 2019, 16:20 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • By Canadian Press	
	 		Raptors centre Jonas Valanciunas ready to return from dislocated thumb				Feb 09 2019

Owner Robert Pera issued a statement Friday morning after the franchise confirmed the trade netting Memphis a trio of players and a second-round draft pick in the 2024 draft.

The Raptors are now second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 39-16, while the Grizzlies rank among the worst in the league at 22-23. He had surgery after suffering a dislocated left thumb on December 12 and has not played since.

The Toronto Raptors general manager has, in one swift move before Thursday's National Basketball Association trade deadline, changed the complexity of his team.

"Marc has been a dedicated teammate, star player and pillar of this team for the past 11 seasons". Second, and more importantly, Ujiri is banking on this move helping Toronto go on a long playoff run, which may convince Kawhi Leonard to re-sign with the Raps after this season.

The 34-year-old center leaves the Grizzlies as the all-time leader in points, blocks, and minutes played.

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He has been linked to trade rumours this week, but said Thursday he hopes to stay in Toronto. "I love Toronto and I want to stay here".

The Raptors (39-16) now sit in second place in the East.

These two players are not the only Raptors who have received recognition as a former Defensive Player of the Year frontrunner. Serge Ibaka finished No. 4 overall in voting in 2014, No. 3 overall in 2013 and No. 2 overall in 2012.

Valanciunas, who has been sidelined for the past 25 games with a thumb injury, is averaging 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 30 games this season (10 starts). Miles, 31, has been a disappointment, scoring just 5.5 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per game.

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