The Raptors made huge moves this summer, acquiring Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Toronto was back in the trade market on Thursday, moving out Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J. Miles, and a future draft pick. In return, the Raptors received big man Marc Gasol. Gasol comes to Toronto averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. Gasol gives Toronto a new dimension in half court sets, giving the ball handlers on the Raptors a high level pick and roll/pop option. Gasol’s 4.7 assists per game is among the top 3 in centers, with Gasol constantly proving is is one of the best passing bigs in the league. This move will make the Raptors that much stronger as they prepare for the postseason.
The Raptors weren’t the only Eastern Conference contender trying to improve before the trade deadline. The 76ers were also busy, bringing in Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott from the Clippers. Tobias Harris brings a hefty 20.9 points per game with him, along with 7.9 rebounds. This kind of production injected into the 76ers will make them one of the best starting 5’s in the league. When you consider a starting lineup that includes Ben Simmons, J.J. Reddick, Tobias Harris, JImmy Butler, and Joel Embiid, there is only one or two teams that can rival what the 76ers can put on the floor. Harris brings pure shooting and dynamic scoring to Philly, making the 76ers that much more dangerous heading into the last third of the season.
The Dallas Mavericks were the clear winners of the trade window this season. The Mavs brought in Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke from the New York Knicks. Porzingis is the prized player in this move, with the All-Star averaging 22.7 points last season. Mavs owner Mark Cuban has expressed that Porzingis “probably won’t” be playing this season, but the addition of the 6’11 Latvian is sure to pay dividends in the future, adding him to a young, exciting core that features fellow European talent Luka Doncic.