Gasol For JV, Wright and Miles: How It Looks Now
The Raptors made a splash for once at this year’s trade deadline as a way to increase their already high ceiling just months after a franchise-altering trade to get Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs. They landed arguably the biggest name at the deadline acquiring Spanish big man Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies. In their package, the Raptors sent out two of their more beloved players: Jonas Valanciunas and Delon Wright (and less beloved C.J Miles). If you’ve been anywhere near Raptors twitter, you are well aware of their particularly impressive play in their new uniforms (as well as ex-Raptor, Bruno Caboclo). But, just in case you are one of the sane people staying away from the toxicity of this social media, here’s what they’ve done since the trade:
17 GP (15 started), 27.8 mins, 19.8 PTS, 10.4 REB, 1.6 BLK, 55% FG on 14.3 FGA, 31.3% 3PT on 1 3PA, 60% TS%, 23.9 PER, 109 ORtg, 105 DRtg
Best Performance: @ Was – 33 PTS (career high), 15 REB, 13/17 FT, 25.1 Game Score
Worst Performance: @ ATL – 8 PTS, 0 REB, O AST, 1 BLK, 3/8 FG, -24
19 GP (5 started), 29.2 mins, 10.5 PTS, 4.5 AST, 4.4 REB, 1.3 STL, 41.8% FG on 9.7 FGA, 19.6% 3PT on 2.7 3PA, 48.8% TS%, 14 PER, 104 ORtg, 108 DRtg
Best Performance: vs Por – 25 PTS, 3 REB, 1 AST, 2 STL, 1 BLK, 9/13 FG, 21.4 Game Score
Worst Performance: 4 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST, 3 TOV, 4 Fouls, +5
13 GP, 22.6 mins, 9.3 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST, 40% FG on 8.1 FGA, 36.4% 3PT on 5.1 3PA, 54.4% TS%, 10.9 PER, 104 ORtg, 111 DRtg
Best Performance: @ ATL – 33 PTS, 3 REB, 8/12 3PT, 11/16 FG, 24.7 Game Score, +6
Worst Performance: vs LAC – 4 PTS, 1 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TOV, 1/7 3PT, 1/9 FG, -5
And just for fun…
26 GP (12 Started), 21.5 mins, 6.8 PTS, 4 REB, 1.2 AST, 0.8 BLK, 41% FG on 5.6 FGA, 32.6% 3PT on 3.4 3PA, 54.8% TS%, 10.4 PER, 105 ORtg, 109 DRtg
Best Performance: vs OKC – 24 PTS (career high), 11 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 23.9 Game Score
23 games separate the Raptors from the Grizzlies as one team is holding down the East while the other has comfortably settled into the basement of the Western Conference. The change from a winning culture to a losing culture isn’t all that bad as all three former Raptors are getting about 10 more minutes per night in an increased role. This also means an uptick in the raw numbers (pts, reb, ast) which, on the surface, impacts how we view the trade. However, both Wright and JV’s per 36 and advanced numbers this season are essentially the same in Memphis as they were in Toronto.
On the Raptors end, Gasol has fit in just fine. In 24.4 minutes per game, Gasol is putting up 9.6 PTS, 6.6 REB, 3.9 AST 1.1 BLK, 0.9 STL, 49% FG on 7.6 FGA, and 39.4% 3P on 1.8 3PA. Though those individual numbers aren’t what one would call remarkable, his impact on the team is eye-catching. Since acquiring Gasol on February 9th: The Raps are 1st in 3P% at 40.2% (up from 24th at 34.5%), 1st in True Shooting % (up from 7th), 1st in Effective Field Goal % (up from 8th), 5th in Assist % (up from 22nd) and 9th in Defensive Reb% (up from 23rd). There’s no question that the rest of the team is better with Gasol on the floor but people seem to keep asking whether or not this trade is good for the Raptors.
To me, the answer is yes. Neither team “lost” the trade but the Raptors as a whole have benefited from it more. They never needed to pick up that first, second or even third guy; they already had that with Kawhi, Lowry and Siakam. They also were able to get rid of some young-ish guys who will undoubtedly be attracting some contracts that the Raptors likely won’t want to pay come 2020. On the Grizzlies side, they moved on from one of their “win now” pieces to help themselves and their fans slide into a more fun rebuild mode. On top of each team benefiting, Raptors fans can be happy with how everything has turned out; We get to see our team improve on the parts of their game we’ve been harping on all season and enjoy the success of our illegitimate sports children on a different team.