Valanciunas starts negotiations for release from Lietuvos
Toronto's centre of the future is making progress towards joining the Raptors next season, as Jonas Valanciunas has started negotiations with Lietuvos Rytas on his release agreement. The release agreement is the first step in a process that will see Valanciunas pay Lietuvos a $2.4 million buyout. The Raptors are allowed to contribute $550,000 towards that buyout.
After being drafted with the 5th overall pick in 2011, it was expected that the 6"11 Valanciunas would spend at least one final year abroad. In 66 games overseas this season, Jonas averaged 11.89 ppg, 7.39 rpg & 1.68 bpg in 23.4 minutes per game. His shooting percentages were extremely efficient, at 62.7% from the field and 80.2% from the free throw line.
Raptors' general manager Bryan colangelo, among others, has thought very highly of Valanciunas from the day Toronto drafted him. "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.” Colangelo said in March.