Valanciunas gets article on NBA.com
Old 03-13-2012, 07:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rubio's success gives Raptors' fans hope for Valanciunas


Posted Mar 13 2012 3:43PM


The torn knee ligament changes nothing. Ricky Rubio remains a league-wide highlight despite the sudden end to his 2011-12 season. He is a newcomer who went beyond expectations amid the hype that accompanied his long-awaited arrival, a point guard of great composure and court vision despite his lack of NBA experience.

And his success remains an example for the Raptors and their suffering fans.




Rubio and new coach Rick Adelman joined Kevin Love to instantly turn the lottery regulars into a playoff threat, along the way infusing the Twin Cities with a layer of basketball passion not felt since the days of Kevin Garnett. (Not counting the ultimate passion: raising money to buy J.R. Rider a one-way plane ticket out of town.)

Rubio showed that a delayed arrival from Draft (2009) until NBA debut (2011) can deliver a huge payoff. The Raptors have asked for the same patience with Jonas Valanciunas as fans suffer through 13-28 in the post-Chris Bosh construction efforts.

Valanciunas is somewhere in the distance. Rubio is proof that this can work out.

Valanciunas was an investment pick at No. 5, saddled with a straightjacket of a contract in his native Lithuania that had no buyout provision. Only after the Draft -- after the Cavaliers used the first selection on Kyrie Irving, the Timberwolves took Derrick Williams, the Jazz chose Enes Kanter and the Cavs came back with Tristan Thompson -- was agreement reached on a new deal that included a $2.4 million buyout.



Every indication is that he will be a Raptor coached by Dwane Casey next season, after a 2011-12 season during which he is improving his strength and shooting with Lietuvos Rytas. His team is coached by Aleksandar Dzikic, by coincidence a former Casey assistant with the Timberwolves. And Valanciunas figures to have a successful career -- "a future franchise center," one non-Toronto executive predicted before the Draft.

"I have no doubt that is the right pick or was the right pick for us," said Bryan Colangelo, the president and general manager. "But it certainly wasn't one that would gather instant gratification. There were other players on the board ... that our fans and perhaps the media wanted us to take because they might come in and be an immediate-impact pick, if you will. But we made a long-term decision. We drafted a 19-year-old center prospect and despite the pressure of picking a so-called sexy pick or someone that might be a more-popular pick, we made the pick that we felt was the best decision, long term and short term, for the franchise because it fit right into this building process that we're going through right now."

It's the pick the Cavaliers should have made at No. 4, instead of power forward Tristan Thompson. They would have had, as it turned out, Irving streaking to Rookie of the Year in 2011-12 and an additional substantial pay out later in Valanciunas.

Instead, the Raptors gladly stepped into the Valanciunas predicament, willing to trade what at the time most teams expected would be a one-season holding pattern for eight or 10 seasons of standout center play. Colangelo just doesn't like the Rubio analogy.

But it's true. Even in an abbreviated rookie season, Rubio showed that patience can be worth it.

"I don't like to make comparisons like that," Colangelo said. "Clearly the situation is one that you've drafted a young player, he's playing professional basketball somewhere else, it's not at the NBA level but he is continuing the process of growing and maturing as an individual and as a basketball player.

"He's playing minutes. I think all of that was favorable in Ricky's situation. Ricky probably got to the point where it was counter-productive because that last year in Spain he was really, if anything, going the opposite direction. It's almost like there was a disinterest, if you will, or he had a lot less impact. I'm sure that extra time in Europe was beneficial for him, but in his case, maybe it lasted just one season too long."

That, the Raptors hope, will not be the case for the improving Valanciunas. When he finally makes it to the NBA, he'll be ready. And Toronto will be ready for him.
Rubio's success gives Raptors' fans hope for Valanciunas | NBA.com
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Shows that waiting for a Euro is worth it
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for that ... article of hope if you will. Its like Raps will be getting 2 high picks next year
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just hope we all don't expect too much from the kid... It will take time
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Saw something like he was averaging 15.7 ppg and 8 rebounds in 22 MINUTES!! Don't know when but wow
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Shows that waiting for a Euro is worth it
no... CAN be worth it... not is lol
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's an unpopular prediction...

2012-2013
Valanciunus will get pushed around because of his small frame. There will be those on this board that will complain about his defense and say that he doesn't get enough offensive rebounds. Some will complain that he was over-rated, and is at best a career back-up centre.

2013-2014
Valanciunas will put on 10-20 pounds, show flashes of improvement, and there will be calls to trade him for draft picks (a la Ed Davis this year).

2014-2015
Valanciunas will start to develop into a good centre and calls for MVP will start, even though he won't be even close to it.

The moral of the story is that he's not going to come in and turn the team around on his own. He's going to be smaller than other NBA centres, raw and will need time to get bigger and used to the speed of the NBA game.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macs View Post
Here's an unpopular prediction...

2012-2013
Valanciunus will get pushed around because of his small frame. There will be those on this board that will complain about his defense and say that he doesn't get enough offensive rebounds. Some will complain that he was over-rated, and is at best a career back-up centre.

2013-2014
Valanciunas will put on 10-20 pounds, show flashes of improvement, and there will be calls to trade him for draft picks (a la Ed Davis this year).

2014-2015
Valanciunas will start to develop into a good centre and calls for MVP will start, even though he won't be even close to it.

The moral of the story is that he's not going to come in and turn the team around on his own. He's going to be smaller than other NBA centres, raw and will need time to get bigger and used to the speed of the NBA game.
so, pretty much what most predict?
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Big V has been talked about for awhile. He's not hidden talent, he just needed to get older.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Carlito View Post
I just hope we all don't expect too much from the kid... It will take time
+1. I think JV is getting a bit over-hyped right now. I want him to do well and I'm not hating, but too much expectations is never good.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Can't wait to see how his rookie season turns out
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
T. Ross IS The Phantom Menace.

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Welcome to Toronto, JV. Here's what you can expect when you land.

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Old 03-14-2012, 07:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Long term JV will be a success ...... I'm convinced of that ......... but don't expect him to win Rookie of the Year, or be a walking highlight reel from the outset ......... he's not a flashy player.

Once he fills out and becomes a man, remember he's still a teenager, he'll dominate all these soft Americans.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nick17 View Post
Once he fills out and becomes a man, remember he's still a teenager, he'll dominate all these soft Americans.
I highly doubt that.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Sounds like the mighty arm of the Raptors PR department force-fed that story to Scott Howard-Cooper.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:17 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nick17 View Post
Once he fills out and becomes a man, remember he's still a teenager, he'll dominate all these soft Americans.
no. not yet
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Ok I've been dying to ask something not completely off-topic and I didn't want to create a new thread. : If you had a chance to pick either Jonas Valanciunas or Anthony Davis, which one would it be? Arguments preferred
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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^ I would honestly take Valanciunas since he has a better frame and looks like he'll become a full time center, which is a position that is much harder to find talent in than PF.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Pretty optimistic article, we'll see how he does in his first year.

What I like about JV's game - at least from what I've read and seen - is that the guy has a serious motor. Yes, he may be a little lanky going into his rookie season, but if the guy is constantly hustling and looking to make a play, he's going to be useful. And the combination of that and his FT shooting should make him at least a little bit serviceable on the offensive end until he can improve.

It's rare that a player as big as JV gets billed as a high-energy guy with talent and workmanlike mentality. I obviously have a biased opinion, but it seems like even if he plays below expectations, he can be a decent big man off the bench.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
T. Ross IS The Phantom Menace.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumon View Post
Ok I've been dying to ask something not completely off-topic and I didn't want to create a new thread. : If you had a chance to pick either Jonas Valanciunas or Anthony Davis, which one would it be? Arguments preferred
Davis. You can't find an eyebrow like that in every draft!

Seriously, Davis. Very high potential. The skills he already has means he likely only needs to get bigger. Are we talking about a bit less offensively gifted Chris Bosh with insane defensive instincts? Probably.

JV will benefit from getting bigger also, but if I had to choose....
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