Gasol says high playoff hopes made move to Toronto easier

Lynette Rowe
February 14, 2019

Playing just his second game for the Raptors, and first in Toronto, Gasol scored nine of the Raptors' first 11 points in a key stretch of the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets, including a three-pointer that gave Toronto a seven-point lead and brought the fans at Scotiabank Arena out of their seats.

Following over a decade with the Memphis Grizzlies, the 34-year-old was shipped to the Toronto Raptors just before Thursday's National Basketball Association trade deadline.

Leonard shot 4-of-15 for 11 points in a 104-99 Raptors win.

The Raptors made the announcement Monday, hours after ESPN reported veteran point guard Jeremy Lin was finalizing a buyout of his Hawks contract and intends to sign with Toronto.

One day after arguably the biggest trade of the 2019 National Basketball Association trade deadline, Marc Gasol has officially joined the Toronto Raptors.

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"That gets your juices going and makes you real excited", Gasol continued.

The former Memphis Grizzlies star could make his debut on Saturday against the New York Knicks. Either way, he's aware of the history players like Calderon and Spanish Federation president Jorge Garbajosa had with the organization, which now features national team head coach Sergio Scariolo, a first-year Nick Nurse assistant and big man Serge Ibaka, who plays internationally for Spain and has done so alongside Gasol and his brother Pau. "The amount of energy that you feel around the city is great".

Based on his performance, it didn't appear to concern him very much at all.

This wasn't the first time the Raptors had been linked to Gasol. Gasol was also named Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. You understand the chance you have coming from a team that hasn't made the playoffs last year and more likely than not this year as well, having a chance to be back [in the post-season], you know how much it means.

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