"You know, the kind of players (Gasol and Mike Conley Jr., who stayed put) are, these are legends in Memphis and they've never been, I don't remember them ever being available".
Fortunately for the Raptors, they have made it known that any player brought in will get an opportunity to play for a contending team.
Gasol, a three-time NBA All-Star and 2013 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, helped Spain to two Eurobasket titles and two Olympic silver medals in 2008 and 2012. Moving forward, Memphis has added a few young pieces and moved a decent-sized contract in Gasol in the process. The Nets then waived the 28-year-old Monroe, who averaged 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 11.1 minutes per game during his first season with the Raptors.
The 7-foot Valanciunas is averaging 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds this season.
Pera praised Gasol as a pillar of the Grizzlies for 11 seasons and part of the core that shaped the franchise's identity on and off the court.
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JJJ has averaged 36 minutes without Marc Gasol, so this is a flawless time to note that without Gasol in the lineup his per-36 averages are 18.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 dimes, 1.3 steals, 2.4 blocks and 1.1 threes. The 7-foot big man had surgery for a dislocated thumb December 12, and hasn't played in a contest since his procedure.
Anthony Davis was benched in the fourth quarter in his return during a 122-117 win over the Wolves on Friday, scoring 32 points with nine rebounds, two assists, three blocks and two turnovers in just 25 minutes.
Memphis will receive Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles and a 2024 second-round pick in return.
Miles is averaging 5.4 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in 40 contests this year.
Memphis also waived forward Omri Casspi to get its roster down to the National Basketball Association limit of 15.