New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas has agreed on a two-year extension worth $30.1 million, his agents Aaron Mintz, Mitch Nathan and Drew Morrison of @CAA_Basketball tell ESPN.
Valanciunas is now committed to the Pelicans for $44.1M over the next three seasons.
— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) October 20, 2021
It's a nice chunk of change for Valanciunas who was lumped into a trade that was mostly headlined by draft capital swapping between the Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies along with Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe going to Memphis.
Valanciunas has been super productive at every stop along his career which started with the Toronto Raptors. In seven years with the Raptors, Valanciunas was super durable and averaged double-digit points in all but his rookie season. In three years after that with the Grizzlies, the bruising center averaged a double-double in each and every year although his first season was cut short due to injury.
It was a good scoop up for the Pelicans who parted ways with their own durable center in Adams as part of the deal.
New Orleans is looking to solidify itself in the Western Conference and find the right combination to put the pieces of the puzzle together. For the Pelicans, a lot of that revolves around the health of their All-Star, Zion Williamson, who will start the year on the shelf.
Nonetheless, there are still pieces in place and the attack will now be spearheaded by Brandon Ingram as the Pelicans await the return of Williamson. Valanciunas figures to play a key role in the act for New Orleans as well.