Jonas Valanciunas Reportedly Agrees to New Contract with Toronto Raptors

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist

Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas, of Lithuania, during a break in the action as the Raptors play the Charlotte Hornets in an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 8, 2015 in Charlotte, N.C. Toronto won 92-74. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

Toronto Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas has reportedly agreed to a new contract with the Toronto Raptors, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN. 

On Aug. 17, Zarar Siddiqi of Raptors Republic cited a report from Lithuanian journalist Jonas Miklovas that said Valanciunas and the Raptors were in discussions on a long-term contract. Then, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported the 23-year-old big man could be in line to earn $60-plus million over the next four years. He added Valanciunas flew back to Toronto in order to move negotiations along.

While he's in line for a big payday, Toronto also has to retain enough space to potentially re-sign Terrence Ross, who is a restricted free agent in 2016, and the combination of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, who have early termination options in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Paying Valanciunas roughly $15 million a year is a much more reasonable sum, especially when you consider Enes Kanter, who is a comparable player to Valanciunas and making $70 million over the next few years.

If anything, Kanter is slightly worse, as CBSSports.com's Matt Moore pointed out:

According to Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, that was a consideration for Raptors management:

Ryan Wolstat @WolstatSun

Two Raptors regimes have believed that Valanciunas was better player than Kanter. Colangelo was thrilled to get him. I agree with them.

You could argue Valanciunas hasn't progressed as expected over the last few years, but Toronto is making the right decision to extend him, especially for such a sensible cap figure.

And with Valanciunas out of the way, Toronto can focus more on re-signing the likes of Ross, DeRozan and Lowry in the future.


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