February 8, 2019 / 4:06 PM / 5 months ago

Grizzlies offers fond farewell to Gasol

FILE PHOTO: Jan 28, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) shoots a three point shot from the corner during a game against the Denver Nuggets at FedExForum. Denver won 95-92. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in his NBA career, the uniform Marc Gasol puts on for his next game will not be the threads of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Gasol, informed in January he was on the trading block, was shipped to Toronto at the trade deadline on Thursday.

Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera issued a statement to thank Gasol for his 11 years of professionalism in Memphis, accompanied by a video on the team’s Twitter feed.

“Marc has been a dedicated teammate, star player and pillar of this team for the past 11 seasons. He plays with a heart and a passion for the game that helped carry this franchise to seven straight playoff appearances, but what Marc has done for this organization is about more than just basketball. He was a part of a core group of players that helped shape the identity of this franchise on and off the court and were embraced by the City of Memphis. On behalf of the Grizzlies organization, I would like to thank him for his blood, sweat and dedication to the Grizzlies and Memphis. The impact he has had on this team and the city will live on, and we look forward to one day welcoming him back home to Memphis where his #33 jersey will hang in the rafters of FedExForum next to Zach and Tony.”

In the deal, the Grizzlies brought back center Jonas Valanciunas, guard Delon Wright, guard/forward C.J. Miles and a 2024 second-round draft pick.

Memphis chose to hold onto franchise point guard Mike Conley — he was also informed last month a trade was possible — as the Raptors made another bold move designed to keep Toronto on the heels of the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference.

Gasol joins Kawhi Leonard, acquired via trade from the Spurs in a swap of All-Stars in the offseason, in the new-look Raptors’ lineup.

—Field Level Media

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