The 34-year-old had until Thursday to make up his mind on returning, or else he would've become a free agent on Sunday. He is coming off his first NBA Championship win, helping the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors in seven games earlier this month. In 79 regular season games between the Raptors and Grizzlies last season, the big man averaged 13.6 points and 7.9 rebounds, while also averaging 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 24 playoff games. Before getting dealt last winter, Gasol had spent his first 11 seasons with the Grizzlies, averaging 15.0 points and 7.7 rebounds with them.
The veteran will be a key asset for the Raptors to attempt to defend their title next season, as the three-time All-Star and former Defensive Player of the Year brings a dominant force to the paint. Although, the Raptors are well aware that if they want to repeat, they will need to focus on not allowing Leonard to leave for Los Angeles, or anywhere else. Danny Green is also scheduled to be a free agent this summer for the team coming off their first title in franchise history.