is one of those divisive players. He’s still young (23), has great size and shows promise on both ends. But his defensive inconsistency cost him the ability to finish games and was a major liability in an area of need for Toronto. He lacks consistency and has very few games per season where he really dominates the competition. However, could he become that kind of player on his next contract? Absolutely. So do you extend him?
Well, it looks like the have decided to, and they’re getting a pretty tremendous bargain. From ESPN:
ESPN sources say Valanciunas extension is not done but sides are in advanced discussions on four-year pact worth in excess of $60 million
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine)
$15 million on average per season for Valanciunas, compared to the f from Portland which Oklahoma City matched, and it’s an absolute steal for Toronto.
What’s baffling is that Valanciunas should have great defensive impact. He’s big-bodied, tough, and physical with an attitude that is willing to take on anyone. He’s got great lateral movement and is pretty savvy in his play overall. Yet the Raptors were 1.6 points worse per 100 possessions defensively with Valanciunas on the floor last season. (The Thunder were 6.8 points per 100 possessions worse defensively with Kanter on the floor last year.) So for whatever reason, his defensive impact simply hasn’t shown itself through his first three years in the league.
It’s what he hasn’t shown that still means he can get better, and there’s reason to believe he will; that’s what makes this deal so good for Toronto. Valanciunas meanwhile gets to lock in the deal now, for the security and peace of mind as to where he’ll be for the immediate future, as the Raps keep building towards something meaningful.
One interesting side-note: The Raptors . This contract extension complicates that considAC Milan goalkeepr Pepe Reina hopes to earn a late career return to the LaLiga.But he concedes it’s a long shot.”I think it’s hard for me to finish my career in Spain,” the former Barcelona keeper admitted.”If God wants it and everything goes well, maybe I can coach there.”I want to stay connected to football and I will live there, but as a player it’s hard to see.”erably. The team will have cap holds for Terrence Rose, , Nando De Colo, , and conceivably a $15 million cap hold for . Tack that on to about $65 million in cap space locked up, and even with the accelerated cap, the Raptors would have to make trades with only about six players on roster to make room for a possible KD deal.
There’s always flexibility in these situations; if KD says “I want to go to Toronto,” it will happen and the cap space will be constructed to allow it. However, it will limit the number of players that Toronto could reasonably expect to have on roster and force them into taking on veterans on minimum deals, and limit their ability to improve in the future.
The Valanciunas deal doesn’t eliminate the Kevin Durant chase, but it does lessen ts he won’t push to leave for Manchester United.United are expected to make an opening offer of €60m for Fernandes this week.Asked about his situation, Frton midfielder Josh Bowler is attracting Championship interest.The Mirror says new Hull City manager Grant McCann wants to sign Bowler this summer.Bowler, who has yet to play for the Everton first team, has impressed at Under-23s level since moving ernandes said: “I don’t care about the market. “I’ve talked about this a lot, I don’t need to taheir chances and limit their options in such a pursuit. That’s a good thing. Chasing the pipe dream of Durant isn’t worth risking your long-term goals and development. The Raptors believe in Valanciunas and got him back at a decent rate. That’s a win for them, no matter what happens with Durant.