The NBA trading block seems to be heating up with the trade deadline 2 days away, and the Raptors have made an offer to the Grizzlies. The Raptors offered Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas for the Grizzlies’ Mike Conley and Marc Gasol.
The straight-up trade could benefit both teams. The Grizzlies could have a new face to their franchise while the Raptors could add the missing pieces to their team.
The Grizzlies have not gone far with Conley and Gasol, while the Raptors have had success with Lowry and Valanciunas. The trade is not lopsided. Lowry has made more All-Star games than Conley, and Gasol has made more All-Star games than Valanciunas.
Lowry is averaging 14.1 points and 9.2 assists per game while Conley is averaging 20.3 points and 6.3 assists. Their skill level could be debated, though Lowry is the more dominant player with 5 All-Star appearances. On the other hand, Gasol is considerably better than Valanciunas. The 7-1 center has made 3 All-Star games and Vallunciunas has made none. In addition, Gasol averages more points and rebounds per game this season.
When considering this type of trade, it is important to consider the ages of the players. Although Gasol is better than Valaciunas, he is 8 years older than him at 34 years old. Generally speaking, NBA players begin declining at age 35. Lowry and Conley are near the same age at 32 and 31 years old, respectively.
Considering an equal swap with Lowry-Conley, the Grizzlies may consider sending the 34-year-old Gasol for the much younger Valanciunas. It is important to note that Valanciunas production, in comparison to Gasol’s production, has dropped due to sharing the ball with Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry - both who demand the ball.
The Grizzlies will have to make their decision based on where they see themselves in the future. They have not made significant strides with Conley and Gasol, except for a few playoff runs. The pair seems to play at a slow pace. Maybe the Grizzlies need something new.