Grizzlies take next step in rebuilding, trading Marc Gasol | AP sports

Marc Gasol Hornets

Marc Gasol Hornets

With the power vacuum in the East created after LeBron James' departure to Los Angeles, the conference's top teams recognize that the time is now to shoot for the NBA Finals.

Failure to do so would anger a fan base already sad the last vestiges of the Grit "N" Grind culture are coming to an end, with lifelong Grizzly Marc Gasol on the trade block as well.

Masai Ujiri traded away a third of his roster for a "winner" in one of the league's biggest deals at the National Basketball Association trade deadline.

Asked Thursday morning in Atlanta if he expected his roster to change, head coach Nick Nurse said: "I don't think so, but what do I know?" Later in what turned into a marathon day, they sent Greg Monroe and a 2021 second-round pick to Brooklyn for cash considerations.

The moves leave the Raptors with just 10 players under National Basketball Association contracts, and they must be at 14 within the next two weeks.

The Grizzlies traded Gasol to Toronto on Thursday at the National Basketball Association trade deadline, more than two weeks after owner Robert Pera told both Gasol and Conley that they would be listening to offers for two of the league's longest-tenured teammates. Are the Raptors taking a big risk and will it be worth it? As an assistant he had worked closely with Valanciunas over many years, often travelling overseas in the summer to see him.

"I said to him today 'No more trips to Lithuania, ' he says, 'Come on man, you can still come, '" Nurse said.

Valanciunas, Wright and Miles can become free agents next season.

They surely didn't envision that deal as being a one-year rental.

"Jonas was a baby with us, grew up with us", Ujiri said.

The 26-year-old Wright, who was selected by Toronto in the first round of the 2015 draft, is averaging 6.9 points, 2.2 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 18.3 minutes of action per game this season.

If Conley changes his mind, Utah might not be the worst landing spot, as playing alongside a young talent like Donovan Mitchell could allow him to play off the ball more and give in to his recent scoring ways, allowing him to flourish for a team with playoff aspirations. The Raptors have just 10 players under National Basketball Association contracts, and they must be at 14 within the next two weeks.

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