The Toronto Raptors once again showed the NBA team's dedication to building a better group this upcoming regular season. With this goal in mind, the Toronto Raptors opted to offer star center Jonas Valanciunas a contract extension that would expand for four years. The multi-year contract of the seven-foot Lithuanian player is reportedly worth US$64 million.
Jonas Valanciunas spent the past three NBA seasons with the Toronto Raptors. Throughout these years, the NBA star achieved an average of 10.9 points, 1.1 blocks, 26.3 minutes and 8.0 rebounds in the span of 223 career games he played with the Toronto Raptors. From the field, he managed to shoot .553 (936 - 1,694). The Lithuanian NBA star was picked as the fifth overall choice by the Toronto Raptors during the 2011 NBA Draft. While the multi-year contract deal was initiated by the current general manager of the Toronto Raptors, Masai Ujiri, the entry of Jonas Valanciunas in the NBA team was facilitated by former GM Bryan Colangelo.
"We feel he's (Jonas Valanciunas) made progress," disclosed Toronto Raptors GM Ujiri, according to National Post. Ujiri went on to say, "He's a great kid. Loves the city, loves the fans, loves everything about Toronto and that's what we want to embrace here." The Toronto Raptors GM further shared that Jonas Valanciunas showed enormous potential in the basketball court and Ujiri believes that the NBA star will "get better" in the long run.
In his statement following the finalization of the multi-year contract with the Toronto Raptors, Jonas Valanciunas shared that he can feel the trust and confidence of the NBA team in his abilities to contribute to their growth. He said, "That's why we're doing the deal, because I feel the trust in me." The Toronto Raptors star went on to say, "I just want to say thank you to the whole organization for placing their trust in me. I'm ready to go out and compete on the court. Now it's my time to go out and do something."
The NBA star also disclosed that he intends to continue improving his performance in the Toronto Raptors. Citing that his main goal for the NBA team is to "win" as many games as possible, Jonas Valanciunas shared that he identified his weak spot as his defense stance. He then noted that his participation in the national team will serve as a good platform for him to progress from his previous gameplays in the Toronto Raptors. Jonas Valanciunas vowed, "I'm going to come back to Toronto in September ready."
Meanwhile, Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry recently signed an endorsement deal with the Bank of Montreal. Alongside the NBA All-Star are Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Tyler Ennis of the Milwaukee Bucks and Kelly Olynyk of the Boston Celtics.