Grizzlies Roster & Lineup After Jonas Valanciunas, Avery Bradley Trades

"He's really excited to be here and this is, I think, exciting for us going forward as we move to all of us trying to achieve a dream of contending for a championship in the NBA", Ujiri, the team president, said in Toronto late Thursday night.

The deal serves a couple of purposes for the Raptors as they can fill out the rest of their roster using the buyout market while also letting the rest of the league know they mean business.

Gasol, now 34, is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and a career-high 4.7 assists this year, and the hope will be that he can spark an immediate connection on the court with Raptors star Kawhi Leonard.

The Toronto Raptors are finalizing a deal that would send three players and a draft pick to Memphis for Marc Gasol, ESPN is reporting.

In exchange for the Spaniard's services, the Raptors have given up Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round pick.

Failure to do so would anger a fan base already sad the last vestiges of the Grit "N" Grind culture are coming to an end, with lifelong Grizzly Marc Gasol on the trade block as well.

Toronto is under added pressure with a chance to convince Leonard to remain in town when he becomes a free agent in the offseason.

"(Gasol) is one of the best fives in the league for a long time now, perennial all-star, defensive player of the year", VanVleet said. They retained their two prized young forwards, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, both of whom would be expected to be the centrepieces of a rebuild effort should the Raptors' fortunes go pear-shaped sometime between April and July.

Gasol also has a $25.6 million player option for next season.

The 26-year-old, who was drafted by Toronto fifth overall in 2011, was finally cleared to play Thursday after missing 25 games with a dislocated left thumb.

Gasol, meanwhile, could be in the Raptors' lineup Saturday in NY pending a team physical. The coach was unusually soft-spoken after the win, and said it had been a tough day. While everyone wondered what Ujiri would do after another embarrassing playoff exit, we now have our answer: He blew it up. "I'll miss him", Nurse said. And certainly miss him.

  • Stacy Allen