With so much happening in the NBA, we had to bring in Kelsea O’Brien to discuss the ramifications of Trade Deadline Day. Welcome to That’s A Rap episode #3 on RaptorsHQ.
On This Week’s Episode:
Wait a second....there was a basketball game yesterday? The Raptors traded away almost 30% of the roster in a two-hour span, while the Hawks acquired Shelvin Mack... again. Which team do you think started the game emotionally/mentally drained?
Masai Ujiri pulled off a major deal — with both short and long term implications — trading Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles, Delon Wright, and a 2024 second round draft pick for Marc Gasol. What was your initial reaction to the trade? Has that reaction changed since? Make sure to comment below.
Watching Jonas grow from a skinny, high-upside basketball prodigy from Lithuania, to a defensive anchor and vocal leader in the locker room, has been quite the ride. His presence, both physically and vocally, will definitely be missed. We’ll also miss C.J. (but probably not his PJs, nor that GoDaddy Curse), and Delon euro-stepping around defenders.
As with Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan, Marc Gasol and Jonas Valanciunas will forever be linked. In a vacuum, Gasol is a better player than JV. Despite being eight years older, Gasol is a better passer, has a higher basketball IQ, hits the three at a higher rate (1.4 vs 0.3), and as recently as November, showed the defensive chops that won him Defensive Player of the Year.
We had some mixed opinions on Gasol’s place in the lineup. It’s natural to think he should start, while Ibaka gets moved to the bench. However, Ibaka has had a re-Serge-ence (sorry) this season playing with the starters, in the center position. As a screener, Serge ranks #2 in scoring. The player that ranks #1... is Gasol. Nick Nurse has some more lineup experimentation, it seems.
With only 10 players on the roster, the Raptors are not even remotely done with transactions. The league minimum for roster composition is 14. Teams are only allowed to remain under the minimum for 14 days. Toronto can convert their two-way contracts — Chris Boucher and Jordan Loyd — and look into the buyout market. They’re already bringing Malcolm Miller in on a 10-day.
There are a ton of buyout candidates, including, Nik Stauskas, Milos Teodosic, Ben McLemore, Enes Kanter, Wayne Ellington, Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris, Robin Lopez, Zach Randolph, Michael Beasley, Carmelo Anthony, and so many more. How would you like the 4-5 spots filled?
One could argue that the Gasol-JV trade was almost forced onto Masai and Bobby, due to the trades made by Philadelphia and Milwaukee. Does Philly’s acquisition of Tobias Harris — another player that needs the rock in order to thrive, while Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid are already complaining about touches — really improve the 76ers’ chances? How scary are the Bucks? They’ve surrounded Giannis Antetokounmpo with another shooter in Nikola Mirotic. Sounds very familiar to another once-in-a-generation superstar forward who was surrounded by shooters in the East.
Unlike the Kawhi trade, which happened three months before we could see him in a Raptors uniform, we’re likely going to see Gasol on the court very soon. He certainly appears to be excited! With a visit to the tanking Knicks, followed by home games until March(!), Gasol will have every opportunity to get comfortable quickly with his new squad.
1:47 - Hawks game reaction
2:48 - Initial reaction to trade
8:24 - What we’ll miss the most from JV / Delon / C.J.
12:46 - What Gasol brings to the table
15:22 - Gasol or Serge to the bench?
19:14 - 10 Man Roster!
20:54 - Buy-out Market
26:40 - Other trades around the NBA
28:30 - A Pelican turned Buck
31:27 - The Elton Brand Effect
36:57 - Upcoming Schedule