Toronto chose Jonas Valanciunas with the No. 5 Selection in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Jonas plays the Center position and is currently listed as:
- 19 years of age.
Other KNOWN FACTS concerning Jonas Valanciunas, include the following:
i. He is a highly efficient scorer within close proximity of the basket [i.e. Euroleague/2010-2011: 70.0 FG%; 91.7 FT%; 0-0/3FG; 7.6 Pts/14.9 MP];
ii. Offensively, he has been used primarily in Pick and Roll situations;
iii. Rebounding is one of his strengths [i.e. Euroleague/2010-2011: 5.4 Rebs/14.9 MP];
iv. Shot blocking is one of his strengths [i.e. Euroleague/2010-2011: 0.6 BS/14.9 MP];
v. He plays the game with a good-to-high level of intensity;
vi. He is a relatively “good” athlete for a Center;
vii. He has a relatively “good” frame which should be able to carry additional weight, as he continues to mature physically;
viii. He was selected as the MVP for the European U 18 Men’s Championships last year [i.e. with 31 Pts and 18 Rebs in the Gold Medal game];
ix. He is under contract to his European club team for the 2011-2012 season and will only be eligible to join the Raptors for the 2012-2013 campaign, if there is a NBA season that year;
x. He is NOT Andrea Bargnani [C].
i. He is a relatively poor passer who does not yet display the ability to create easy baskets for his teammates [i.e. Euroleague/2010-2011: 0.2/Ast; 1.4/TO];
ii. He is NOT Brandon Knight [PG] or Jan Vesely [SF/PF], each of whom was also still available when the Raptors made the No. 5 Selection … and a player with the capacity to eventually become a “star” in the NBA – according to yours truly, based upon “positional upside” [i.e. relative skill-set and athleticism at the position played] – with Derrick Williams [SF] and Kyrie Irving [PG] no longer available; and,
iii. He is NOT Tobias Harris [SF/PG] or Davis Bertans [SF], or [even] Josh Selby [PG], each of whom was still available when the Raptors made the No. 5 Selection … and a player with the capacity to eventually become a “star” in the NBA, if the Raptors would have decided to “trade down”, in an effort to acquire more than only 1 future rotation player from this year’s Draft.
|2011 NBA Draft Prospects With Good Upside,
Relative To Their Position
|Name||Hgt||Wgt||Pos||Age||Comp. Player Type||Obtained By|
|Projected as a 1st Round Selection|
|Derrick||Williams *||6-9||250||SF/PF||20||Paul Pierce||Minnesota/Kahn|
|Brandon||Knight *||6-3||180||PG||19||Joe Dumars||Detroit/Dumars $|
|Jan||Vesely *||6-11||240||SF/PF||21||Andrei Kirilenko||Washington/Grunfeld|
|Nikola||Vucevic||7-0||260||PF/C||20||Robert Parrish||Philadelphia/Stefanski $|
|Donatas||Motiejunas||7-0||215||PF/C||20||Toni Kukoc||Houston/Morey %|
|Kenneth||Faried||6-8||225||PF||21||Brian Grant||Denver/Ujiri %|
|Tobias||Harris *||6-8||225||SF/PG||18||Mark Aguirre/Magic Johnson||Milwaukee/Hammond $|
|Iman||Shumpert||6-6||220||PG||20||Ron Harper||New York/Walsh $|
|Kyle||Singler||6-9||225||SF||23||Shane battier||Detroit/Dumars $|
|Davis||Bertans *||6-10||210||SF/PF||18||Larry Bird/Dirk Nowitzki||San Antonio/Buford $|
|Chandler||Parsons||6-10||220||PF||22||Mike Miller||Houston/Morey %|
|Projected as a 2nd Round Selection|
|Josh||Selby *||6-3||195||PG||20||Dennis Johnson||Memphis/Wallace|
|Nolan||Smith *||6-4||190||PG||22||Jason Kidd||Portland/Buchanan|
|Norris||Cole||6-2||175||PG||22||Maurice Cheeks||Miami/Riley $|
|Shelvin||Mack *||6-2||210||PG||21||Jo Jo White||Washington/Grunfeld|
|Adam||Hanga *||6-7||220||G/F||22||Manu Ginobili||San Antonio/Buford $|
|LEGEND: Bold – Has the capacity to become a “star” player; Italics – Much better than many draft evaluators realize with the capacity to become a high end player in the NBA; * – Should be a target for Toronto, in effort to, either, trade up or down; $ – Former NBA Champion or Finalist, as an executive; % – Up-and-coming executive with a keen eye for NBA level talent.|
By making this specific selection, the Raptors:
i. Added a very solid prospect … for the 2012-2013 season … with the ability to become a 10+ year, starting Center in the NBA;
ii. Increased their likelihood of being in the 2012-2013 NBA Draft Lottery;
iii. Failed to add a, possible, future “star” player to their current roster, in the form of Brandon Knight, or Jan Vesely, or Tobias Harris, or Davis Bertans [or, even, Josh Selby]; and,
iv. Re-confirmed their commitment to their players from last season, as their core group moving forward, including some combination of: A) Youngsters – DeMar DeRozan [OG/SF], Jerryd Bayless [PG/OG], Sonny Weems [OG/SF], James Johnson [SF/PF], Julian Wright [SF/PG], Ed Davis [PF], Amir Johnson [PF], Joey Dorsey [PF], Solomon Alabi [C] and Alexis Ajinca [C]; B) Young Vets – Andrea Bargnani [PF/C] and Linas Kleiza [SF/PF]; and, C) Veterans – Jose Calderon [PG], Leandro Barbosa [OG/PG] and Reggie Evans [PF].
Although Jonas Valanciunas [C] is almost certain to become a “good” Center in the NBA, sometime down-the-road … ala Pervis Ellison, Joel Przybilla, or Zydrunas Ilgauskas, etc. … in terms of being able to compete for, and eventually win, a League Championship … it is most unfortunate that the Raptors, once again, wasted another golden opportunity to add a future “star” player – i.e. with ahigh degree of Positional Skill, Athleticism, and Leadership – to their existing roster and, instead, were trumped by the likes of RC Buford, Joe Dumars, Pat Riley, John Hammond, Ed Stefanski and Daryl Morey.