He also said that it's more likely that Marc Gasol is moved at the deadline than Conley.
It will be interesting to see just how much of an upgrade this deal is for the Raptors, but it was certainly worth a roll of the dice considering how little they had to give up for the veteran big man.
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). The trade deadline is Thursday at 3 p.m. EST.
Like Ibaka, Gasol does a lot of that scoring from midrange.
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Gasol's shooting should make him a natural fit alongside Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard.
Gasol is capable of creating his own shot with his back to the basket, too. The 26-year-old has a player option for $17.6 million for next season. Now the Memphis Grizzlies star point guard has said he prefers to be traded out East. 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.
The 7-foot Valanciunas is averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds this season.
In parting ways with Valanciunas, the Raptors lose a genuinely likeable big man, a guy who had become a franchise great somewhat by virtue of having been a long-serving member of the team during the best era in its history. It'll help when he's on the floor in crunch time, too, because it'll mean the entire offence doesn't have to run nearly exclusively through Leonard, who has seen his usage rate skyrocket in those situations as a Raptor. Given how the DeMar DeRozan trade went down, its hardly surprising the All-Star is keeping one eye open just in case he is moved. Gasol has spent his entire 11-year career with the Grizzlies. "I've been in rumours so many times I don't even look at it", joked Valanciunas according to TSN.