While the NBA trade deadline didn’t treat us with big blockbuster trades, we did manage to see some major shakeups on Thursday. Arguably the biggest names that changed teams were Memphis Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol who was traded to the Toronto Raptors, and New Orleans Pelicans’ Nikola Mirotic, who joined Milwaukee Bucks.
After realizing they won’t get back to the playoffs anytime soon, Grizzlies started shopping Gasol in the recent weeks and were engaged with several teams including Charlotte Hornets. Still, Raptors made a last-minute offer for the 34-year-old which included Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round draft pick and managed to get their guy.
By pairing Marc Gasol with All-Stars Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard, Raptors now formed their own Big-3 and emerged as one of the prime contenders to reach the NBA Finals in Eastern Conference. Grizzlies, on the other hand, officially entered the rebuilding mode and are facing a long way back to contention.
Gasol played 53 games this season and has averaged 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.2 blocks per game.
In the second big trade on Thursday, New Orleans Pelicans began the process of tearing down their roster and sent Nikola Mirotic to the Milwaukee Bucks. Pelicans received Jason Smith, Stanley Johnson and four second-round picks in exchange according to ESPN.
With this trade, the Bucks improved what has been already a strong roster and are slowly establishing themselves as a big force in the East.
Mirotic is averaging 16.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game.