The Memphis Grizzlies found a taker in Marc Gasol, an NBA trade that hardly surprised many. The only thing surprising is that it was the Toronto Raptors who beat the rest of the field, a move that may have just hit two birds with one stone.

First, acquiring Gasol makes the Raptors all the more formidable in the Eastern Conference. They have added an experienced big man to fill the middle even though most consider the Spaniard to be in the twilight of his career, Yahoo Sports reported.

At least for the rest of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Raptors can see for themselves if Gasol still has some gas left in the tank. But more importantly, it gives Kyle Lowry and Kawhi Leonard some breathing space to operate since opposing teams will need to properly guard the paint.

"Marc brings significant playoff experience to our team, which along with his savviness and leadership skills really helps position us for our ultimate postseason goal," Raptors president Masai Ujiri said in a report by ESPN.

The Raptors are second in the Eastern Conference with a 40-16 win-loss card. Only the Milwaukee Bucks are ahead of them with a 40-13 mark and beneath them are the Indiana Pacers with a 36-19 record.

In exchange, the Raptors gave up Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round draft pick. They also dealt Greg Monroe plus a 2021 pick to the Brooklyn Nets for cash considerations. With all these moves, are the Raptors up to something else?

Another possibility is that the Gasol trade may be a move to help Leonard decide in the offseason. One of the targets of several teams in the free agent market this summer, having Gasol around could convince Kawhi to stay in Toronto and start something big.

Along with Lowry, the Raptors have filled three key positions that could raise their stakes against other teams in the East. It thus all depends on how Ujiri and coach Nick Nurse are able to show that they have gathered the right personnel to make the Raptors a team to reckon with.

With two pawns in Gasol and Leonard, all Toronto has to do now is get it all together. They do look more dangerous headed into the final stretch of the 2018-19 NBA season but the real story may be during the summer.