Jonas Valanciunas explains why he’s re-signing with Grizzlies
Jonas Valanciunas agreed to re-sign with the Memphis Grizzlies on a three-year contract worth $45 million on the first day of free agency.
Valanciunas says the Grizzlies are rebuilding, but that the team is young and has a bright future:
Valanciunas on his new deal with Memphis: “I wanted to settle down in one place for a longer time. Grizzlies had hopes on me & I’m happy to be part of this. We’re young, we’re rebuilding, but we have high aims. It’s interesting to see how we gonna look among the other teams.”
— Donatas Urbonas (@Urbodo) July 4, 2019
The Grizzlies acquired Jonas Valanciunas from the Toronto Raptors this past season in the Marc Gasol trade. He averaged 19.9 points and 10.7 rebounds in 19 games with Memphis while shooting 54.5 percent from the field, 27.8 percent from beyond the arc and 76.9 percent from the free-throw line.
With both Mike Conley and Gasol gone, the Grizzlies are officially ushering in a new era, led by rookie point guard Ja Morant and second-year big man Jaren Jackson Jr. Valanciunas is a solid veteran to have in the locker room. The 27-year-old is essentially a walking double-double and can help mentor Jackson.
The Grizzlies likely won’t compete for a playoff spot in 2019-20. This upcoming season is all about developing Morant, Jackson, combo guard Dillon Brooks and the rest of the youngsters in Memphis. Valanciunas’ patience is going to be tested a lot during the next few seasons, but it appears he understands and is looking forward to the process of turning the Grizzlies into a playoff team once again.