ESPN: Valanciunas might play in toronto this season?
Old 12-03-2011, 05:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Toronto Raptors drafted Jonas Valanciunas with the No. 5 pick in the 2011 NBA draft knowing it would be at least a year before he came to the NBA.

But a source close to the team told ESPN.com on Saturday that there's a small chance they might be able to get him this season.

The source said that the team reached out to Valanciunas' agent over the weekend to gauge the center's interest in joining the Raptors in 2011-12. If Valanciunas has interest, the Toronto would have to work out a buyout with his team in Lithuania, Lietuvos Rytas.

Valanciunas does not currently have an NBA buyout for this season in his overseas deal, but things have changed for Lietuvos Rytas over the past five months. They failed to qualify for the Euroleague this season and the team will likely lose critical sponsorship money. Given the current situation, they need money more than Valanciunas.

Does the Lithuanian center want to come to the NBA this season? Valanciunas told NBA teams prior to the draft that he felt he needed at least one more year in Europe to get stronger and play more minutes at the highest level before coming abroad.

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But the Raptors believe Valanciunas may be better served by joining the NBA now. The 19-year-old big man spent the entire summer and fall playing in Lithuania, giving him valuable experience. He showed what he was capable of in U-19 play, averaging a tournament-high 23 points, 13.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game to lead Lithuania to the gold medal. Against Team USA and Florida's Patric Young, a projected first-rounder in 2012, Valanciunas had 30 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.

With the shortened NBA season, expectations also won't be as high. If Valanciunas came to the Raptors, he can practice with the team, get minutes off the bench and use the season to acclimatize to the NBA. By the start of training camp next fall, the Raptors believe he would be ahead of where he would be if he stayed in Europe.

If the Raptors are able to get Valanciunas now, it will be a major coup. Many NBA scouts believe he was the best long-term big man prospect in the 2011 draft and Toronto has a major need at the 5.
Valanciunas to play in NBA this season? - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN

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Old 12-03-2011, 05:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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So... Maybe no free agent big man signed at all?
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DanH View Post
So... Maybe no free agent big man signed at all?
Maybe there's a reason for the sudden shift in patience.

Anybody know how much the buyout would be for? Aren't the Raptors only allowed to give more than 500k of whatever the buyout would be?
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If the Raps aren't going to get involved in the FA market in a big way this season I don't see any reason NOT to ask Jonas to come over now.

There's no experience like playing in the NBA... and with expectations being pretty low I'd say that the timing seems right.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TORaptor4Ever View Post
If the Raps aren't going to get involved in the FA market in a big way this season I don't see any reason NOT to ask Jonas to come over now.

There's no experience like playing in the NBA... and with expectations being pretty low I'd say that the timing seems right.

Plus, if he can get this season in and have a full summer with the training staff + summer league he should be a lot more prepared for next season when we hope to start adding talent and making a possible playoff push.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Definitely do it, the more time that Euro players have to adjust to the league the better.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jeffb View Post
Maybe there's a reason for the sudden shift in patience.

Anybody know how much the buyout would be for? Aren't the Raptors only allowed to give more than 500k of whatever the buyout would be?
the number they talked about in summer was everywhere in the 3-4 mil range iirc. might be wrong.
yes, Raptors can only offer small part of it directly but there are many ways to find the money. Like, local endorsement money, David Khan did this with Rubio (Khan found some local businesses, they agreed to pay up in advance to Rubio personally for future endorsements). Or the simple way, take a bank loan based on future NBA salary.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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nahhh, let him eat more. Gallinari couldn't do squat until he added some girth to his game.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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nahhh, let him eat more. Gallinari couldn't do squat until he added some girth to his game.
food in America has more calories than in Lithuania
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That would make this season a lot more interesting. Here's hoping.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ValanciunasFanboy View Post
food in America has more calories than in Lithuania
we are in canada

and yes do it
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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we are in canada

and yes do it
yes that's why i wrote America not States
i bet you still eat more fast food per person over there. :P if for no other reason because it's a 5 mil city as opposed to 500k in Vilnius. big cities = big calories
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by box1992 View Post
we are in canada

and yes do it
Food in Canada has more calories than in Lithuania
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TORaptor4Ever View Post
If the Raps aren't going to get involved in the FA market in a big way this season I don't see any reason NOT to ask Jonas to come over now.

There's no experience like playing in the NBA... and with expectations being pretty low I'd say that the timing seems right.
absolutely agree.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:04 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ValanciunasFanboy View Post
yes that's why i wrote America not States
i bet you still eat more fast food per person over there. :P if for no other reason because it's a 5 mil city as opposed to 500k in Vilnius. big cities = big calories
actually no i don't, but that is because i live on campus and its too far to go get fast food so i just eat what they have in the cafe, but if i was at home you would be right lol
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:05 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Food in Canada has more calories than in Lithuania
hahaha much better :P
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:52 PM   #18 (permalink)
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actually no i don't, but that is because i live on campus and its too far to go get fast food so i just eat what they have in the cafe, but if i was at home you would be right lol
i meant "you torontians", not "you box1992"
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Um hell yes!!!!
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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i meant "you torontians", not "you box1992"
im from mississauga, but ill stop nit picking now lol
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