Marc Gasol Exercising Player Option With Raptors for Next Season

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Toronto may finally be a destination that NBA players want to go to. After decades of the city being deemed an "undesirable" spot and losing star players as a result -- looking at you, Vince Carter! -- winning the 2019 NBA Finals has completely changed that reality.

The first domino has fallen to prove it: veteran center Marc Gasol has reportedly exercised his $25.6 million dollar player option, keeping him in the six for at least one more season, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

Gasol is one of the few big men who has remained valuable throughout the game's evolution from back-to-the-basket centers banging in the low post to the brave, new world of the stretch five. He should be an important piece for Toronto in 2019-20, as he proved to be down the stretch this past season. He played in just 23 regular season games for the Raptors after being dealt there prior to the trade deadline by the Grizzlies, but he played a key role in the team's playoff run.

While he no longer scores nearly 20 points per game like he did at his peak, Gasol's versatility as a passer and shooter allows the Raptors to space the floor without clogging up the lane like many other bigs have a tendency to do. He's also still a valuable defensive force, something that's often overlooked in today's age of stat-watching.

Of course, Gasol remaining in Toronto could have other implications as well. The more pieces the Raptors are able to keep of their championship club, the more likely it would seem that Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard may want to run it back.

Regardless, Gasol exercising his option is indicative of a greater theme: Toronto basketball just might be here to stay.