Raptors' title pursuit getting Gasol's 'juices going'

Joe Murphy / National Basketball Association / Getty

Marc Gasol will be making his debut with the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night against the New York Knicks, and a deep postseason run with his new club is breathing new life into the 34-year-old center.

"Once Masai called and I talked to some of the guys in (the locker room), everybody said the same thing about making a run to the title, and that gets your juices going and makes you real excited," Gasol told reporters ahead of his Raptors debut on Saturday, according to TSN's Josh Lewenberg.

Gasol was acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, C.J Miles, and a 2024 second-round draft pick before Thursday's NBA trade deadline.

The Spaniard played his entire NBA career to date with the Grizzlies and is the franchise's all-time leader in points, blocks, and minutes played. The three-time All-Star was a stalwart of Memphis' "Grit and Grind" era that saw the club make seven straight playoff appearances, including the Western Conference final in the 2012-13 season.

Gasol is looking forward to starting a new chapter in Toronto and has heard good things about the city from fellow countryman and former Raptor Jose Calderon, who was one of the first people to reach out to Gasol following the trade.

"I gave it my all (in Memphis)," Gasol said, according to Lewenberg. I know maybe sometimes it wasn't perfect but I gave everything I had and I'm planning to do the same thing in Toronto. That's the only way I know how to play - dedicating yourself to the game, to the city, to the fans."

Gasol is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.1 steals in 53 appearances this season.

Raptors' title pursuit getting Gasol's 'juices going'
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