An NBA World Championship means the Toronto Raptors won the big midseason trade, but even the Memphis Grizzlies came out as winners for a number of reasons.
When the Memphis Grizzlies placed Marc Gasol and Mike Conley on the trading block in February, it was unsure if they would actually pull the trigger on a deal. While they were lukewarm on offers for Conley (who is understandably more difficult to move due to his larger contract), they sifted through offers on Gasol and ultimately decided to sever ties after 10.5 seasons.
Marc Gasol was nearly dealt to the Charlotte Hornets, but he was quickly rerouted to the Toronto Raptors in the closing moments of the hectic NBA Trade Deadline. For Marc himself, this was a blessing because it enabled him to not only compete for an NBA World Championship, but as we all know by now, it led to him earning the first ring of his NBA career. Had he landed with Charlotte, no ring would be heading in his possession, and he likely would not have qualified for the postseason.
The Memphis Grizzlies did Marc Gasol a favor. They shipped him off to an excellent situation, and they very easily could have done the total opposite. It was a classy move by the Grizzlies, though it may have been unintentional. You see, the Raptors’ offer (outlined below) was the best on the table, so they had to take it. Memphis could not say “no” to Toronto.
This NBA trade made a lot of sense for both sides. For the Toronto Raptors, they thinned a logjammed wing and backcourt rotation while upgrading their center position to better fit their offensive and defensive flows and schemes. It was clearly the right move for Toronto as it led to the Raptors winning the NBA Finals in six games versus the Golden State Warriors.
For the Memphis Grizzlies, as many people would instantly say the Raptors won the deal, they certainly did not lose this trade. If anything, it was a very rare case in the NBA of a win-win deal for both parties involved. Beale Street Bears is here to break down the benefits the Grizzlies have and/or will reap as a result of the infamous February trade centered around Marc Gasol.