Jonas Valanciunas has taken a leave from the Lithuanian national team to work out on an extension contract with the Toronto Raptors.
This offseason, Valanciunas became eligible for an extension with the Raptors. An agreement hasn’t been reached yet, but both sides are eagerly discussing and negotiating. Reports of advanced discussions reveal a four-year deal worth more than $60 million is on the cards.
Valanciunas, The Divisive Player
23-year-old Jonas Valanciunas is one of the divisive players of NBA. His defensive inconsistency makes him a poor finisher, an area of need for the Toronto Raptors which the Lithuanian couldn’t fulfill.
Due to his lack of consistency he dominated in very few games per season in the League. However, the Raptors’ management thinks he is capable of overcoming his defensive inadequacies and their investment would pay off.
So once the deal is ratified, the big man will feature in Toronto’s defense. His attitude to take on anyone with all his physical toughness and big body could boost Raptors’ defense in the coming season.
Portland signed Enes Kanter on a $70 million deal for four years. So with $15 million per season for Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto has a feeling that they have made a tremendous bargain.
Raptors To Chase Kevin Durant
The Raptors will be pursuing Kevin Durant in free agency next season, according to sources. This extension of Valanciunas complicates that to a certain extent.
The team will have cap holds for Terrence Rose, Luis Scola, Nando De Colo, James Johnson, besides keeping $15 million cap space for DeMar DeRozan.
So in order to make a KD deal possible, Toronto will need to release six players of its current roster.