NBA Trade Deadline: What Marc Gasol brings to the Raptors
Did the Toronto Raptors improve their team after acquiring big man Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies? They hope they have after sending Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles and a 2024 second round pick to the Grizzlies for center Marc Gasol who is one of the best centers in the NBA. With this trade it signifies the Raptors are all in this season and could have done this trade out of reaction to the 76ers acquiring Tobias Harris. With the acquisition of Marc Gasol the Toronto Raptors starting five now is Marc Gasol, Pascal Siakam, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Kyle Lowry with Gasol, Leonard and Lowry all being three of the best players in the Eastern Conference. What does Marc Gasol bring to the Raptors, how does he effect the team and who won the trade? This article will examine those questions, so let’s begin by looking at what Marc Gasol brings to the Raptors.
What Does Marc Gasol Bring to the Raptors?
He adds playoff experience to an experienced NBA roster and he adds an inside presence. With Leonard and Gasol they now have two of the better defenders in the NBA. Marc Gasol is averaging 8.6 rebounds per game which is not the most on the Raptors team while Kawhi Leonard was the leader of the team prior to the trade and is averaging 7.9 per game. Gasol is one of the better facilitators for a center as he is averaging 4.7 assists per game which ranks 2nd for the position in the NBA only behind Nikola Jokic who is averaging 7.7 assists per game. With Kyle Lowry who is 2nd in the NBA in assists with 9.2 per game they will become a team that can set up scoring even better than before. Marc Gasol is averaging 1.2 blocks per game though which is one of the worst at the position. Still given his rebound ability, assists and scoring Marc Gasol will improve the Raptors. How does Gasol affect the Raptors? Let’s examine that next.
The Effect of Marc Gasol
The trade means the Raptors are all in this season and wanted to add depth to the center position. Gasol likely won’t see as many minutes with the Raptors as he did for the Grizzlies as they still have Serge Ibaka who is averaging 16.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.3 blocks per game while Gasol is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.2 blocks per game. Both players are similar in terms of playing style with the only real difference being Gasol’s assists. I look for bother players to play almost equal minutes because of their similarity. If anything Gasol only improves the Raptors slightly in scoring in my opinion. Who won the trade? Let’s examine that question next.
Who Won the Trade?
To me this trade is about as equal as you can get even if it is only a one year rental for the Raptors. The Raptors are in win now mode and there is no doubt about that because after acquiring Kwahi Leonard and Marc Gasol they could lose both players at the end of the season as they can both become free agents which would leave the Raptors with Lowry and Ibaka and not much else. The Grizzlies improved by adding decent role players to surround Mike Conley, but they will also have cap room to go after more elite players in the offseason.
In conclusion, this trade will be determined by how far the Raptors make it in the playoffs. They currently have the 2nd best record in the Eastern Conference and with added depth they should be able to challenge the Milwaukee Bucks for the conference title. Even if they do lose Leonard and Gasol after the season they are still in good position to win it all this season.