Valanciunas returns to Raptors lineup amid trade rumours

Kyle Lowry Raptors

Miles were a part of the team's rotation off the bench. The team also moved Greg Monroe and another second round pick to the Brooklyn Nets for cash considerations.

It's a power move for a Toronto team looking to improve its roster as it vies with Philadelphia and Milwaukee, among others, in the Eastern Conference.

He can become a free agent this summer by opting out of the final year of his $25.5 million contract for the 2019-20 season.

The Raptors are second in the Eastern Conference and they added a boost in Gasol to help them keep pace with conference frontrunner Milwaukee Bucks, who traded for Nikola Mirotic on Thursday.

"I've been in rumours so many times I don't even look at it", Valanciunas said.

According to NBA.com, Gasol is generating 3.4 points per game in the post this season - roughly a quarter of his scoring - putting him behind 10 players for most in the league.

It will be interesting to see just how much of an upgrade this deal is for the Raptors, but it was certainly worth a roll of the dice considering how little they had to give up for the veteran big man. What I feel inside and how I feel about Memphis and its people has nothing to do with the franchise or a temporary thing.

The former second-team All-American is averaging 8.0 points, 2.9 asissts, 2.9 rebounds and 20 minutes this season in his third season as an National Basketball Association reserve.

To go along with his scoring, Gasol is an excellent passer.

The Raptors (39-16) now sit in second place in the East. Miles was averaging less than 15 minutes per game.

"I'll play anywhere", Conley told reporters at Thursday's morning shootaround. "I'm sure if they were going to trade me, they'd say, 'Hey, Kyle, this is what's on the table'". He was selected by the Raptors in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft.

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