The Toronto Raptors split up their longtime core en route to the team's first NBA championship.
Center Jonas Valanciunas was among the players moving on to the Memphis Grizzlies in a trade that brought Marc Gasol north. The 7-footer told 15 Min's Donatas Urbonas he was happy to see his former teammates flourish, but still disappointed he couldn't join them in hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
"I was thrilled, but a bit annoyed at the same time," Valanciunas said on Thursday. "I'm really happy for Toronto because they were my family for seven years. But, of course, it was sad that I wasn’t part of that team in The Finals."
The Raptors drafted Valanciunas with their fifth overall pick in 2011, and he spent six-and-a-half years with the franchise before being traded in the deadline deal.
Despite his disappointment, the Lithuanian star will still happily accept a championship ring if he's offered one.
"Why shouldn’t I? If they will give me (a ring), for sure I will accept it,” he said.
The 27-year-old spent several seasons as the Raptors' starting center before being moved into a reserve role for 20 of his 30 appearances during the 2018-19 campaign.
He was given a greater role in the Grizzlies' offense, averaging a career-best 19.9 points and 10.7 rebounds over 19 appearances.