According to a report from Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated, the Toronto Raptors have proposed a trade to the Memphis Grizzlies centred around Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas for Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.
While Memphis has most seriously continued dialogue with Utah and Detroit on Mike Conley trade packages, the Raptors called Memphis offering Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas for Conley and Marc Gasol, per league sources. Lowry is aware of Toronto’s general trade discussions.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) February 5, 2019
We’ll pause for a second here so that you can reassemble your brain.
This is one of the craziest Raptors-related trade scenarios I have ever heard. Just, like... why? How does this benefit either team?
And that’s where we stop and consider. Who benefits, not from the trade, but from the report?
The tweet from Fischer says it all, really. The Grizzlies are in talks with Utah and Detroit. If Memphis wants to consummate those talks, if they want to put pressure on those two teams (or other suitors), of course they’ll “leak” information about other potential deals that are allegedly on the table.
I’m not sure I believe this report (this isn’t to doubt Fischer’s reporting, just to doubt who’s leaking it. You know it didn’t come from Toronto’s front office, which simply has no leaks). Let’s break down why:
It doesn’t really make the Raptors better. Conley is a little younger than Lowry and would probably put up better raw numbers in the Raptors system, but as we have seen time and again, what Lowry brings to the table seems irreplaceable. Conley might be able to do it, but to do it in a third of a season? I don’t know. As for Gasol, he has looked alternately unhealthy and disinterested since Memphis’ hot start. A change of scenery might turn it around, but even so, could the team integrate his skill set in time to make an impact?
It really doesn’t make sense for the Grizzlies. I assume the Grizzlies’ goals right now are cap relief and young talent; why else would they be trying to get off two veterans on large contracts? So, why would they trade for... two veterans with large contracts?! Unless the Raptors are throwing in a sweetener such as Pascal Siakam, in which case, this trade definitely does not make sense from Toronto’s standpoint.
So: No one benefits from this proposed deal... except whoever leaked it, presumably.
Naturally, I can only assume this trade will be completed in the next hour just to invalidate everything I just wrote and make me look like an idiot, because that’s the way this stuff works, right?