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Raptors Star Jonas Valančiūnas Finally Returns To The Court This Week

Raptors Star Jonas Valančiūnas Finally Returns To The Court This Week”

Over the years, the NBA's trade deadline has been one of the more entertaining times of the season.

Initial rumours named both Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry in a potential deal for Gasol and Memphis point guard Mike Conley.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Raptors are in the final stages of a blockbuster deal to obtain centre Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles, Delon Wright and a future second round draft pick.

The Toronto Raptors are all in for the 2018-2019 season.

Gasol, 34, is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and a career-high 4.7 assists (which ranks second among National Basketball Association centers, trailing only Nikola Jokic's 7.7). Some league insiders thought a trade between the teams would be completed by night's end, and the fact that Gasol's name plate was removed from his locker at FedExForum added fuel to that fire.

Gasol is slated to make $24.1 million USA this season and has a player option for $25.6 million next season. They had built a team that at the start of this season looked very much like an Eastern Conference contender, perhaps even a title contender if things broke correctly, and now here they were stuck watching everyone else around them getting better.

Valanciunas was cleared to play today after missing 25 games with a dislocated left thumb and was expected in Toronto's lineup for Thursday's game at Atlanta. The Charlotte Hornets have been active in trade talk over the years, but they could make a splash this year. "I love Toronto and I want to stay here".

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.



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