The Toronto Raptors won their first championship in franchise history, thanks in large part to a trio of players brought in via trade. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green played big roles in the title run after coming over in the blockbuster trade with the Spurs last summer.
The other major trade acquisition was Marc Gasol, who arrived in Toronto at the deadline after being offloaded by the Grizzlies as they began their rebuild in earnest. Gasol took some time to get acclimated with the Raptors, but came up huge in the postseason as a key cog in the championship win.
All three players brought in had the opportunity to hit free agency this summer, which made all three high risk, high reward targets. The immediate reward has been reaped, but the Raptors hope to bring back at least Leonard long-term. Gasol had a decision to make by Wednesday about his $25.6 million player option, and the team announced on Wednesday evening he had decided to pick up that option to stay in Toronto for one more year.
It’s not a totally surprising move, as Gasol was unlikely to get that much annually on a contract this summer, but given his age there is some risk in taking the one-year option and hitting free agency in another year, when fewer teams will have major space. Still, it’s clear that Gasol enjoyed his half-season with the Raptors and wanted it to continue, recognizing that they have a legitimate opportunity to defend their title next year as well, if Leonard comes back.