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Prospect Profile

Jonas Valanciunas

  • Full Name: Jonas Valanciunas
  • Position: Center
  • Height/Weight: 7-0 / 231
  • Birthdate: May 6, 1992
  • College: Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania)
Toronto Raptors Round 1: Pick 5

Strengths:

  * Tremendous size and length (7-6 wingspan)
  * Highly efficient shooter around the basket with jump hooks, & R/L layups, great touch
  * Very good FT shooter
  * Competes, has a good motor
  * Pursues rebounds
  * Good rim runner and very good pick/roll guy
  * Works hard on his game

Weaknesses:

  * Still needs to add strength and some bulk
  * Needs some defensive improvement
  * Continued work on developing a low post game
 

NBA projection:
Best young player in Europe, he's the inside version of what Ricky Rubio is on the perimeter.  Lottery pick with great potential to be a good starting center in the NBA.

2010-11 season:
Enjoying a productive season for Euroleague club Lietuvos Rytas.

Key statistic:
2010-11 Lietuvos Rytas – LKL (Lithuanian 1st division): 21 mpg, 12.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.2 bpg. FG 67%, FT 83%
Lietuvos Rytas – Euroleague: 15 mpg, 7.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg. FG 70%, FT 88%

Cool statistic:
Jonas has won U16 and U18 Eurobasket in 2008 and 2010. He was named MVP of last summer's Eurobasket in Lithuania as he averaged 19.4 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.7 rebounds.

Reminds me of:
He has traits of many great centers. Pau Gasol.

What the Experts Say:
Arvydas Sabonis
"He's using not only his size, but his quickness as well. His wrist is magic. It's easy to miss short jumpers around the basket, but the basket seems to literally suck his shots in."

"He's great in defense, and he knows how to avoid fouls. Jonas is a center, so he has to clean up everybody else's mistakes. It takes skill to play clean in this position and avoid picking fouls. He just has to keep his head on his shoulders, and he'll standing on many more podiums."

Rimas Kurtinaitis
"Jonas Valanciunas is a young and very promising player. He does remind me of Sabonis at a similar age. However, Valanciunas needs to keep working hard and improve his fundamentals to really fulfill his potential." "Unlike some other young and talented players I've coached, Valanciunas is exhibiting good work ethic, and has a great desire to improve."

Ramunas Butautas
"Valanciunas does remind me more of Pau Gasol rather than Sabonis."

Maxi Basket (French Basketball magazine)
"He might not be the new Tim Duncan, but he's definitely not going to be another Nikoloz Tskitishvili either."

Current contract and team:
Lietuvos Rytas (Euroleague). The buyout to release Lithuaniastar Jonas Valanciunas from the remaining three years of his contract with Lietuvos Rytas is reported to stand at $3 million according to several online sources.

Chris Denker and Carl Berman are Managing Partners of NetScouts Basketball, "The International Basketball Connection."

Lietuvos rytas Vilnius (Lithuania)
Perlas Vilnius - Lithuanian NKL
Season G MPG FGM FGA PCT FTM FTA PCT RPG APG SPG BPG PTS AVG
2008-09 16 0.0 66 110 .600 29 45 .644 7.8 0.6 0.5 2.1 161 10.1
Lithuanian LKL
Season G MPG FGM FGA PCT FTM FTA PCT RPG APG SPG BPG PTS AVG
2009-10 32 18.9 114 187 .610 92 127 .724 6.1 0.5 0.3 1.3 320 10.0
2010-11 31 20.4 143 210 .681 77 100 .770 7.4 0.5 0.5 1.9 364 11.7
Totals 63 19.6 257 397 .647 169 227 .744 6.7 0.5 0.4 1.6 684 10.9
Three-point field goals: 2009-10, 0-for-1 (.000); 2010-11, 1-for-1 (1.000). Totals: 1-for-2 (.500).
Baltic League
Season G MPG FGM FGA PCT FTM FTA PCT RPG APG SPG BPG PTS AVG
2009-10 16 20.3 70 102 .686 47 62 .758 6.9 0.6 0.4 1.8 187 11.7
2010-11 4 20.8 19 24 .792 10 14 .714 5.3 0.5 1.3 1.8 48 12.0
Totals 20 20.4 89 126 .706 57 76 .750 6.6 0.6 0.6 1.8 235 11.8
Three-point field goals: 2009-10, 0-for-2 (.000); 2010-11, 0-for-0 (...). Totals: 0-for-2 (.000).
Lietuvos rytas - Euroleague
Season G MPG FGM FGA PCT FTM FTA PCT RPG APG SPG BPG PTS AVG
2010-11 15 14.9 46 65 .708 23 26 .885 5.8 0.2 0.2 0.7 115 7.7
Lietuvos rytas - United VTB League
Season G MPG FGM FGA PCT FTM FTA PCT RPG APG SPG BPG PTS AVG
2010-11 9 17.3 28 50 .560 10 13 .769 5.1 0.9 0.8 1.4 66 7.3

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