MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For the first time since the Grizzlies moved to Memphis back in 2001, there won’t be a Gasol on the Grizzlies roster. Mike Conley is now all that’s left of the Core Four.
Thursday, as expected, the Grizzlies traded their longtime and standout center to the Toronto Raptors for three players and a future draft pick.
Their return: a couple of 26-year-olds in center Jonas Valancuinas and guard Delon Wright, along with CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round pick.
This is Gasol’s 11th season in the NBA, all in the Beale Street blue, and not only does he leave as a franchise and city icon, he’s pretty much the most decorated player in Grizzlies history, leaving as the team’s all-time leader in points and rebounds.
“My relationship with the Grizzlies may change, but my relationship with Memphis won’t” Gasol said. “What I feel inside, and what I feel about Memphis and its people has nothing to do with the franchise.”
For Big Spain, it’s a good trade, going to one of the top teams in the East.
For the Grizz, not so much. The team was hoping to get a first-round pick and young assets to team with Jaren Jackson Jr. moving forward.
Gasol wasn’t the only deadline deal made by the Grizzlies as the team tries to trim payroll.
The team moved Jamychal Green and Garrett Temple, and their expiring deals, to the Clippers for veteran Avery Bradley, who’s been struggling this season in L.A., but does have a non-guaranteed deal for next year.
The team then shipped back-up point guard Shelvin Mack to the Hawks. In return, the Grizz get second-year pro Tyler Dorsey, who was Atlanta’s second-round pick in 2017, 41st overall.
So the Grizzlies trade away four players and don’t get a first-round pick in return for any of them.
But there is a bright spot to all the deadline deals — Mike Conley is still with the Grizzlies.
The team listened to numerous offers but decided to keep the face of the franchise and the last member of the coveted Core Four.
The Grizz — what’s left of them — are in Oklahoma City Thursday night to play the Thunder.