Report: Toronto Raptors not looking to move Jonas Valanciunas
The Toronto Raptors have been trying to stay active in their pursuit of dethroning the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East. The organization traded for forwards Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker last season, and re-signed Ibaka to a massive deal this summer. In addition to that, they added C.J. Miles this offseason.
While the moves have not helped them that much against the Cavs, the team is still hopeful. General manager Masai Ujiri assembled a perennial playoff team. However, one part of that team is heavily criticized.
Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas has been under a lot of criticism. JV is a sluggish, slow, old-school center who seemingly has no place in the modern NBA. In addition to that, he is making $15 million next season, money that the Raptors could spend on a better, small-ball solution.
A lot of reports stated that the front office is looking to move Valanciunas, but Ujiri decided to defend his player. During the introductory press conference for Miles, Ujiri stated that Valanciunas is staying.
“We’re very comfortable with JV. We’re not trying to give JV away,” Ujiri said. “I’ll be transparent, there were some scenarios where if we’re trying to create space and do some other things in some of the other scenarios we had that maybe we make a move, but with this team now we’re very comfortable.”
This statement could be interpreted in many ways. The clearest one is that the Raptors clearly did not get what they hoped for when shopping Jonas around.
Due to all this, Valanciunas will most probably stay in Toronto for the remaining three years of his contract.