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The Raptors’ season in the sun orbits the Marc Gasol trade

The Four-Bouncer from Kawhi Leonard — the mystical shot that won a playoff series for the Raptors — was one of the memorable moments of a calendar year full of them, and the tension of Game 6 of the NBA Finals was a true “where were you” moment in franchise and Canadian sports history.

But none of it likely happens without the goings-on in the first week of February, and when it comes down to remembering 2019 for the NBA champions, that’s a time that needs to be appreciated as much as any other moment.

It was late on a Thursday afternoon, after much toing and froing in the front office and around the league, when the team’s hierarchy pulled the trigger on a transformative trade that set up all that was to come.