Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Lowry, Sixers, Celtics, Russell

The Raptors struck a major deal to acquire star center Marc Gasol today, sending Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles and a 2024 second-round pick to Memphis in the agreement.

Gasol, a former Defensive Player of the Year, is expected to help push the Raptors to a deep postseason run as their new starting center.

“Marc’s a hell of a basketball player,” teammate Kyle Lowry said, as relayed by Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports. “I got a chance to play with him earlier in our careers but neither of us were at the level we’re at now. It’s going to be very cool.”

Gasol also reunites with Sergio Scariolo, head coach of the Spanish National Team and current assistant with the Raptors. Gasol’s ability to score, rebound and defend at the center position intrigued the Raptors as a potential fit, with the team now sporting a projected starting five of him, Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam.

“There’s a lot of things Marc can do,” Lowry said, according to Lewenberg“I think his playmaking is one of the things we’re going to really be able to use…I think his defence is going to help us also…There’s a lot of advantages he brings to us and I think he’s going to really help us.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division tonight:

  • The Sixers made a move to acquire Tobias Harris from the Clippers this week, although it’s unclear how long discussions between the two sides lasted before an agreement was reached. Rich Hofmann of The Athletic suggests that the teams have discussed a Harris-related deal for months, while Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated reports that the deal started being discussed on Tuesday. Regardless, Philadelphia now has a “core four” of Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and Joel Embiid to compete in the Eastern Conference for the rest of the season.
  • Celtics general manager Danny Ainge reached out to the representatives of a few players today with hopes of filling the team’s open roster spot, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). However, Ainge is unsure about how much interest players will have, given how deep Boston’s roster is, Mannix notes.
  • Nets guard D’Angelo Russell is ready to recruit players to Brooklyn in free agency, speaking before the NBA’s trade deadline this week. “I mean we understand it’s a business,” Russell said, according to Chris Milholen of Nets Daily. “I got to be in Brooklyn to recruit someone to be in Brooklyn. I think that with the situation that we have with the young talent and like I said, we surprised a lot of people this year with the play that we have and I think we have a great situation for anybody to come in and be open with two arms.”
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7 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Lowry, Sixers, Celtics, Russell

  1. coldbeer

    Raps are ready to go. Still, best part is everybody sizing everybody up. Buyout time!!!

  2. Jtsanders84

    Dorell Wright gets back in the league and traded on the same day? Good thing Delon was safe today!

  3. Thronson5

    The Raptors improves greatly today. The East is gonna be fun to watch in the playoffs this year with no LeBron and those teams improving like they did..Raptors and the 76ers got better..the Bucks and the Celtics are already really good. I can’t wait to see who makes it to the finals. I mean, we all know who they’ll be playing in West so not as excited to watch those playoffs lol.

    • Nebraska Tim

      I actually think that the Raptors are about the same today as before. I think Valanciunas is fairly underrated and undervalued, and Wright provided some quality minutes for them.

      Gasol could be a slight improvement, but I’ll have to see how the Raptors roster shakes out.

      I think the Raptors will need to get a “win” or two on the buyout market to keep up with the Bucks.

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