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-   -   Draft profile: Jonas Valanciunas (http://www.raptorsforum.com/f/f50/draft-profile-jonas-valanciunas-20269.html)

Shifty.py 05-18-2011 03:35 AM

Draft profile: Jonas Valanciunas
H: 6' 11"
W: 240 lbs
Bday: 05/06/1992 (just turned 19 Years Old)
Position: C



Standing 6-6 Ĺ when he arrived in Vilnius in February of 2007, Valanciunas has grown at least four inches since (I'm now 210 centimeters [almost 6-11] without shoes,Ē he informed us) and has slowly grown into his excellent frame. He's retained all of the quickness he had earlier on in his career and still sports a mammoth 7-6 wingspan, (again according to him.)

He's an incredibly intense competitor, a boundlessly energetic player who never stops working for a moment and whose presence is constantly felt on the court.

He runs the floor extremely well, is quick off his feet and has no qualms whatsoever about throwing his body around in the paint.

Essentially an afterthought in Lietuvos Rytas' offense, Valanciunas satisfies his hunger for touches through his work on the offensive glass. The largest portion of his offense (27%) comes from this area according to Synergy Sports Technology, a testament to his length, quickness, timing, hands, activity level and instincts. He pulls down over five offensive rebounds for every 40 minutes he's on the floor, and watching him play, it's not difficult to tell why.

As attractive a skill as his offensive rebounding might be, Valanciunas' most important source of scoring comes from his ability to finish plays created for him by teammates around the basket. He takes special pride in his ability to operate as a pick-and-roll finisher -- ďThat's my basketball,Ē he said. This is a skill that should translate to the NBA immediately.

Valanciunas does a good job setting screens and then rolling to the basket with pinpoint timing, arms high in the air, vigorously pleading for the ensuing pass. He has extremely soft hands and attacks the rim with real purpose, elevating above the rim and finishing strong, with a dunk if possible Ė and preferably an emphatic one at that.
DraftExpress NBA Draft Prospect Profile: Jonas Valanciunas, Stats, Comparisons, and Outlook

Finishing around basket
Free throws

Post moves
Foul rate

I say he is ahead of Kanter. Plays starting center for a good Euroleague team (7.6 pts on 70% shooting 5.4 rebs in 15 minutes)
High energy, pure C. Unlike Kanter and Montiejunas is always in the paint, but unlike Vesely or Biyombo also has a jumpshot and shoots free throws at high percentage. Rolls hard on PnR. Very coachable.
Somehow reminds me of Rasho Nesterovic, 15 years younger and 2 times quicker and more athletic.
He is a teamplayer first, not a star.

One drawback is a large buyout, but it is an added bonus: he could stay in Europe for a year during the lockout.

Superjudge 05-20-2011 12:52 PM

from this video, being all I have seen of this guy..... please no.

He's frail

EggsToTheBBQ 05-22-2011 12:46 PM


Rytas has taken a major step forward in resolving the buyout issue in recent days by hiring a European lawyer with significant experience in NBA buyout negotiations. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Rytas will attempt to structure the buyout on a sliding scale depending on where he gets picked, and are willing to be flexible with Valanciunas on when he can leave the team in case of an NBA lockout, even giving him the opportunity to stay with the team until he signs his rookie contract.

If his buyout situation will be resolved in a timely fashion, look for Valanciunas to be drafted somewhere between Nos. 3 and 8 overall. He's ahead of Enes Kanter on both Cleveland and Toronto's boards according to reports and has huge fans in Detroit's front office as well.

Valanciunas has three more years on his contract after this current season, with no buyout option. His American agent Leon Rose of CAA has been negotiating with the team for the better part of the year Most of the dispute revolves around when the buyout will be paid. The team, which is in serious financial trouble, wants the money now, not when he joins the NBA. It's asking for a percentage of Valanciunas' rookie contract. An agreement could have already been reached some time ago but the team has sent mixed messages.

Most expect a deal to be struck no more than a week before the draft. Valanciunas falling in the draft will only hurt Rytas' cause as not only will it lose significant respect from fans and constituents in basketball-crazy Lithuania, but it'll also hurt its chances of landing the next great young local prospect with NBA aspirations. Furthermore, being drafted lower results in a smaller contract.
2011 NBA Combine Reactions - NBA - Yahoo! Sports

jeffb 05-22-2011 12:54 PM

No thanks

rapsmannn 05-23-2011 05:03 AM

i like yan vesely much better, especially for the raptors, he can defend, rebound, block, plays the 3, has a pretty good crossover, he isn't the typical european player htat everyone seems to judge all euros about even though soft players come from all nations

Shifty.py 05-23-2011 06:01 AM

I think Vesely is one-dimensional, he can dunk and thats it. Can't defend the 3, not at NBA level, not quick enough. And at 4 he is nowhere near strong enough.
Rebounds and blocks come because he is so long. This didn't help Yi, although Jan is high energy so will get hustle balls.

To conclude, even in this draft I doubt he will be picked earlier that 9-10

10 05-23-2011 06:18 AM


Originally Posted by Superjudge (Post 541141)
from this video, being all I have seen of this guy..... please no.

He's frail

Lots of people said that about Noah too coming out of college.

Just sayin'...

Don Vito 05-23-2011 10:08 AM

Why draft Jonas when you can draft Bismack? With Bismack's 7-7 wingspan it makes him a complete monster. He can easily play center and be very efficient at it. Being compared to Ben Wallace is no joke because that is actually a very good comparison. He is much tougher than Jonas and I think he will have a way better career. Bismack started basketball late and turned into a complete beast, if we draft Jonas over Bismack I will be disappointed. When I look at Jonas play I don't see anything special.. he will be an OK player at best, but nothing out of this world. Whatever Jonas can do, Bismack can do better. Bismack may be raw offensively but that is 100% OK, as long as we have fire power at the wing positions it'll make up for it.

DocHoliday99 05-23-2011 10:23 AM

Jonas is no Krstic....he'll be more Noah in comparison, with a better shot. Don't get me wrong though, I think Bismack is the better defensive player and will contribute right away defensively and honestly would pair nicely with Bargs - much like we hoped Chandler would. I can handle Bargs coming off the bench as a sixth man if the Raps were to keep him.

Barracuda 05-23-2011 10:48 AM

Had to.

MARTYNAS 05-23-2011 12:18 PM

Ha, Jonas is true Lithuanian name. I had no idea this name exist outside of Lithuania. Jonas Jerebko, Jonas and his brothers... Just pronunciation is different.

About Bismack. I think he hyped a little. He looks like a highlight defender, looks great on youtube, but when you check the numbers, there is no extraordinary defense. projected second rounder Nikola Mirotic destroyed him few weeks ago.
Well, we will see, 1 month to go, can't wait.

Don Vito 05-23-2011 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by MARTYNAS (Post 541912)
Ha, Jonas is true Lithuanian name. I had no idea this name exist outside of Lithuania. Jonas Jerebko, Jonas and his brothers... Just pronunciation is different.

About Bismack. I think he hyped a little. He looks like a highlight defender, looks great on youtube, but when you check the numbers, there is no extraordinary defense. projected second rounder Nikola Mirotic destroyed him few weeks ago.
Well, we will see, 1 month to go, can't wait.

Destroyed him a few weeks ago? Source? I couldn't find anything remotely close to that statement.

OP13 05-23-2011 02:49 PM


Originally Posted by Don Vito (Post 541914)
Destroyed him a few weeks ago? Source? I couldn't find anything remotely close to that statement.

I didnt see that game, but i think he talks about this one.

MARTYNAS 05-23-2011 03:25 PM

Sorry, i was mean few months ago... RM now playing against Fuentabrada in playoffs, but Bismack is out. I don't know why, he is injured, or hes in combine, I have no idea.

But I can talk about that previous game. I remember i watched the highlights of that game, Biymbo stopped Reyes once with a monster block. But Reys, who played only 18 minutes, still finished the game with 11 points with 56% shooting. Biymbo was schooled, he got 3 quick fouls against Reys and Fischer and missed some time on the bench.
I remembered Fischer was active, so I was wrong. Mirotic was not Biymbo's matchup... But he is also a big. 19+8+11=38. 3 main bigs in the game score half of their points.
And it's a one game, most of the times bigs scores a lot on that team. You just need to check the numbers.

Shifty.py 05-26-2011 03:13 AM

I was trying to remember who Valanciunas reminds me of
There was a little of Rasho - not very athletic and definitely not a scorer but a very useful utility guy
But actually he is a lot like Amir Johnson. Works in paint, deadly off pick'n'roll with good midrange jumper and freethrows. And fouls a lot :)
Except Jonas has what, 2-3 inches on Amir? So he can finish much easier and I expect rebounding to be better as well

RaptorsFan4Life 06-08-2011 08:07 PM


Jonas Valanciunas is known as one of the most talented European prospects. He made a huge leap from Lithuanian second league to a Euroleague starting five in only two years. The 19-year-old center has had a spectacular career so far but the most exciting moments are still ahead for Valanciunas.

This summer will be the most important and busiest in Valanciunas life, as the Lithuanian talent will participate in NBA Draft and will play in 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship. And thatís not all. Valanciunas will also try to do his best to be named to the final roster of the Lithuanian national team, which will play in EuroBasket 2011 this fall at their home country.

In an exclusive interview with RealGM, Valanciunas introduced himself and shared his thoughts about last season, the upcoming NBA Draft, the future of his NBA career and much more.

RealGM: First of all, could you describe yourself as a player for people who haven't seen you play?

Valanciunas: I am a player who can play both the center and power forward position and I spend most of the time under the basket. I like tough basketball; amazing dunks, blocked shots and I also try to grab rebounds.

RealGM: When did you realize that basketball was more to you than just a hobby?

Valanciunas: I understood that when I came to Vilnius when I was 14-years-old. I felt that basketball is what I want from this life and that I will not give up.

RealGM: Just a few years ago you played in the second Lithuanian league (NKL) and now you were the main center on a Euroleague team. Could you identify the main reasons for this quick progress in your career?

Valanciunas: Hard work, practices and a wish. I think I was lucky because the best Lithuanian basketball coaches were working with me. People also are talking that I am gifted and I have a long hands (smiling).

RealGM: How could you evaluate your 2010-11 season? How has the Euroleague experience changed your game?

Valanciunas: I evaluate this reservedly. I really was not happy about all the things I did on basketball court. Because of my young age and inexperience I was making mistakes. However, the experience I gained is very valuable. It really changed my game in local leagues (LKL and BBL) because I gained confidence.

RealGM: In your opinion, which aspects of your game need to improve the most to become a better player?

Valanciunas: I think I should improve everything. I should demonstrate more versatile basketball on offense since I cannot play only in pick and rolls all the time. After all, I shoot well from mid-range and beyond the arc in practices. I like to play my back-to-the-basket and I also can score over slower centers when I face the basket. Of course, I have to add more physical power, athletisim to my game, improve my spurt, accuracy. I have to learn how to read the game more better.

RealGM: How do you combine school and sports?

Valanciunas: It is difficult (smiling). I am trying to pay attention to school but things don't always go the way I want.

RealGM: Did you ever get an offer to study and play basketball in the U.S.?

Valanciunas: I didnít get a real offer but I heard that there were indirect proposals to go to the States and play basketball there. However, I signed a contract with a professional basketball team pretty early and I donít regret that because I have had a chance to show my self at the top European basketball level.

RealGM: I heard that your height is almost 6-foot-9 right now and you are still growing. Is it true? How much did you grow in the last two years?

Valanciunas: Without shoes my high is really 6-foot-9. With shoes it is almost 7-foot. I grew an about 1.5-2.3 inches in the last two years. I want to believe that I am still growing. To add another inch would be nice (smiling).

RealGM: A lot of NBA scouts came to Vilnius to see you play during the season. Moreover, just a few years ago people didnít know you and now you are probably the most popular player in the country. Was it difficult to deal with the attention you received this season?

Valanciunas: I donít think so. I just tried to avoid distraction before most important games and practices. I tried to focus on my work and then I always kindly communicate with people who want to talk with me. I donít think that attention is a bad thing.

RealGM: You have mentioned that your favorite player is Dwight Howard. Is it still the case? Was he as an example and inspiration to you?

Valanciunas: Every NBA player can inspire you. I just like the way Howard plays. I like his dunks and his power when he plays under the basket. Thatís why I donít change my opinion.

RealGM: Do you believe that you could make an instant impact to your team's success or you would need few years to adapt? What kind of role would you want to have on your team?

Valanciunas: I think it depends on a team. Every rookie needs one or two seasons to adjust and be useful. I hope that I will need less time. I would want to be effective on both ends of the floor.

RealGM: A lot of European players are afraid to go play in the NBA because of the competition. Are you unafraid to compete with older, more experienced and athletic NBA players?

Valanciunas: If you are afraid why even enter the NBA Draft? It should be the opposite way. You need to be happy and use the opportunity to play with stronger players than you are. It helps to reach perfection.

RealGM: Are you influenced by either the successful or unsuccessful European players who have come to the NBA?

Valanciunas: It does not influence me. I think that everyone personally plans its own future.

RealGM: Do you pay attention to NBA Mock Drafts during the season or now?

Valanciunas: That is my agentsí job. However, I have heard that it means nothing. NBA teams donít rely on them.

RealGM: Are you concerned with which NBA team will select you in the NBA Draft?

Valanciunas: I have never thought about it. There is no sense to do that. Any team can pick me and it would be unwise to expect something and later become disappointed. I hope the coach from the team that picks me will help me to get to the court as soon as possible.

RealGM: In your opinion, what can you do to help your team to improve? What are your strong sides?

Valanciunas: At the moment, I am pretty good at rebounding, doing pick and roll and free throws. I would not want to concentrate on just that, I hope I can improve my game and help the team to reach better results.

RealGM: What should NBA fans know about you on a personal level?

Valanciunas: I am a simple guy form Utena (smiling). I like to play basketball, go fishing, spend time with my friends and I also like cars.

RealGM: What are your plans for this summer?

Valanciunas: At the moment I am taking my final exams and later on I will join Lithuanian U19 team, which prepares for the upcoming FIBA U19 World Championship.

RealGM: Do you think you are ready to represent Lithuanian national team?

Valanciunas: I canít answer this question. I wonít lie - I would love to try, but in my opinion only the best should play for the national team.

RealGM: Do you believe it is currently a good time to play in the NBA, or would you still want to remain in Europe?

Valanciunas: No one knows when its time to go play in NBA. I just know one thing, NBA is my dream and one day I will definitely play there. But we will see how everything will go. Maybe if lockout happens, I will have an opportunity to play some more in Europe.
Interview With Jonas Valanciunas - RealGM Articles

Shifty.py 06-09-2011 01:28 AM

I hoped he'd be taller than Amir. Seems like exact same playing style. Longer hands still

Naj_Irban 06-10-2011 09:59 AM

Pass. Please Colangelo, no.

rapsmannn 06-11-2011 05:49 AM

still like vesely more

funny with our bad track record with euros seems like kemba would be the best pick but vesely could be the best player from this draft

MARTYNAS 06-11-2011 06:23 AM

How come Vesely could be the best? His ceiling not that high at all. Extraordinary height, speed and athleticism, but thats it. Good athlete, nothing else. Poor ball handling for a wing, poor rebounder for a big, atrocious jump shot, butterfingers, not a passer...
He can be an efficient NBA player, but he is just not a top 5 pick...

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