Jonas Valanciunas

We’re a few days removed from the NBA Draft and the night that the Raptors selected Lithuania’s Jonas Valanciunas with the fifth overall pick and I’ve spoken to a couple of scouts about the newest Raptor to see what they had to say. I had to do something, because the set up of the draft in Newark was not at all conducive to getting any real information about Jonas. If you’re unaware of how the draft works, it goes something like this:

- Player gets drafted, hugs mother, kisses girlfriend (if he is Jan Vesely), shakes hands, puts on hat and goes to the stage to shake hands with David Stern.

- Player is escorted off of the stage to sit down and speak with ESPN Radio people on the floor just opposite the green room.

- Player is then given a “handler” for all intents and purposes, usually a young, attractive female whose job is to whisk the brand new pro through a long hallway in the back of the Prudential Center –where they are being filmed by cameramen– toward the interview room where the player will sit at a podium and talk with reporters from various outlets.

- Media members can raise their hand to ask a question and a mic will be brought over to them if they are lucky. Note: I was not lucky as both times I raised my hand, I was not given a mic and was therefore unable to speak with Jonas.

- Player is then taken behind a black curtain to go through various stations of television promos and interviews. Print media is not allowed past the black curtain, unfortunately.

- Once the television circuit is complete, the player is then whisked into a room to take photos with their new team hat on and sometimes end up in a room for a conference call with the media who did not make the trip to the draft.

- It’s pretty exhausting. Tristan Thompson, for example, was selected fourth, somewhere around 7:45 p.m. and he didn’t finish the television circuit until 9:30 p.m. Pretty wild, right? While I saw Jonas exit the black curtain, he was quickly escorted to the photo room and I did not see him again after that.

- From the brief moments that I did see/hear him, it’s pretty clear that he was overwhelmed. Likely because of the language barrier (although I’ve been told he’s great when you have him one-on-one in a more low-key setting), and also because of the stress, joy and excitement of the night, but there was something really sweet about the wide-eyed look Jonas was sporting.

- A man of few words, he was so very happy. While we’re so used to players being relatively understated when it comes to big moments, my favorite thing about the draft is that these emotions often spill over because the guys are truly unable to hold them in, and Jonas was a perfect example of that. He couldn’t seem to stop smiling and looking around as if to say, “I can’t believe this is really happening.”

- I can’t lie, when his name was called, I gasped. I said something, I’m not even sure what it was, but I know it was surprise. I think in the excitement and happiness for Thompson going fourth overall, it slipped my mind that Jonas was still available and I was expecting to hear the name Knight or Biyombo for the Raptors.

- It was fun to watch Tristan Thompson’s face as the Raptors selected Jonas. He was sitting directly behind me, talking to the ESPN guys and he wore the same surprised expression I was sporting. After hearing Thompson talk about how he would always be a Raptors fan, it would have been cool to see what he thought about the newest Raptor.

- Here’s what I was emailed and texted in the next two hours while waiting in the back hoping –unsuccessfully– to get some solo time with Jonas to ask him about Toronto:

- He’s a legit C who can rebound, block shots and protect the rim. Great work ethic. Free throw percentage has gotten up into the 80′s over the past two years.

- Two separate people gave the Joakim Noah comparison, while another used Tyson Chandler, funny since this is also something Raptors coach Dwane Casey mentioned in his quotes from draft night.

- Both used the Noah comparison while saying “not as gritty” and “more understated”. This cracked me up.

- The talk of his rebounding rate is interesting and I’m sure we’ll be talking more about this with some people as the week continues. Specifically, during our Raptorblog podcast that we’ll be recording on Tuesday.

- He’s passionate, hard working and physical. In other words: If you’re nervous because you’ve been soured by some of the European players this team has had, no need. We’re not talking about Andrea 2.0 here.

I’ll leave you on that note because I know for many Raptors fans, another player who needs time to develop is exactly the opposite of what they desired. As long as he’s intense and passionate, though, just remember: It could be worse.

You can wait for development. You can’t wait on passion ever being found because that’s an innate quality, not one that can be learned over time.

Comments (37)

  1. Credentialed media across YYZ more specifically Raptor media have me irate.

    For an avg ball supporter, 100% of the public consensus was convinced like Holly here on Knight and Biyombo. I mean all I do is research aggressively, keep tabs on the close media of each franchise, yet not one media pundit in the Greater Toronto Area saw this coming. Not even ONE report stating if the Lithuanian Center was on the board MLSE would approve the pick with variables (buyout) attached.

    I mean, am I crazy to think that if you work closely with the organization, or are prouy part of a academic elitism media fraternity within Toronto, they shoulda had the scoop.

    Oh well, examples of this are where reporters create their identity and unfortaney all the social media writers and corporate companies who delegated their team to the Raptors draft, yet again, failed to capitalize.

  2. Sonny: How exactly do you propose a reporter is supposed to get Colangelo to provide this information? He hides his cards as well as any GM in this sport. If he allows word to get out that the Raptors have Valanciunas at the top of their draft board, then other GMs can use that information against him. You can’t draw blood from a stone, and you can’t get Colangelo or any of his subordinates to run their mouths about draft boards, potential trades, etc. That’s just how this organization is run. Having said that, I’m looking forward to the day when you burst on the scene and break Raptors stories left and right, exposing the sheer incompetence of your contemporaries.

  3. BC pulled off a pretty amazing smokescreen on this one. I literally can’t remember any reporter linking the Raps to Jonas, ever. Obviously, that’s one of the reasons so many fans were so shocked and even disappointed. Nobody was mentally prepared for the possibility. What made it worse was that some reporters were throwing out the list of names (Knight, Leonard and Biyombo) like it was final, with no caveats that if Jonas were available he’d be the guy. Chad Ford was talking about how Vesely was BC’s preferred international player right up until the Biyombo craze later on.

    Anyway, it’s kind of funny because many of the same media members were cautioning fans about believing anything they heard because of smokescreens, etc., while they’re tweeting about the Raps being seriously interested in Biyombo, or “Knight is their guy if he’s there.”. And it’s worth noting that you can’t pin this on the expectation that Jonas was going to be gone before #5, because a lot of mock boards had him slipping when word about the buyout situation came out. I don’t even know if BC ever saw Jonas play, but I know he saw Vesely “at least” 3 times. Crazy…this should make for an interesting “behind the draft” on NBA TV.

  4. Actually, Chad Ford had link Valanciunas to the Raptors on his very first mock draft.

    Really though, after Irving at 1, and Williams at 2, the whole draft was a crapshoot. People thought Utah might’ve taken Knight at 3, but instead opted for Kanter. No one outside the Cavs org. thought that they’d Thompson at 4 (he was projected as a mid-round pick). What about Knight, Walker, who saw them dropping as low as they did? Even Bismack Biyombo was drafted ahead of them! Kawhi Leonard, the player many Raptors fans wanted, fell all the way to 15th, Corey Joseph was thought to be drafted in the second round, and he was selected late first.

    In short, you should be happy that, if you’re a fan of the Raptors, you have a GM that is competent and keeps his cards close to his chest as to protect the franchise in a way.

  5. “The decision was made according to our roster, we have umpteen million guards and we were looking at the young men Walker, Knight, and Leonard, but we had a lot of players at their position. What we don’t have is rim protection, length, and athleticism in the middle. Amir is a good player but he doesn’t have the length of this player.” – Dwane Casey

    All I can say is wow?!?!?!

    BC is still pissing on us fans and calling it Holy water- shitting on us fans and calling it TBone Steak.

    Image over reality.

    Drafting for need over immediate talent then trying to justify it to cash paying fans who are supporting this BullChit called Raptors basketball under BC via a PR media campaign that calls fans who oppose the pick and/or BC’s Euro vision for the Rap’s as being either racist, prejudice and/or xenophobic!!

    Old divide and conquer tactics that BC is knowingly using on the fan base via his many media minions in the TDot media, RaptorsTV & in the blogosphere.

    Many fans don’t want another project with potential especially after last season’s dreadful on court results.

    OK, we went through that bad season, received a high draft pick and drafted someone who is at least 5 years away from being a legit NBA player- did I miss something here?

    As Casey said that the Rap’s are going to target a center this off season via trade or free agency- so why draft a project then?

    Why not draft an ex breakdancing point guard from the Bronx, New York that has a National NCAA Championship to his name- did I mention that he graduated it 3 years from UConn?

    At least the fans could see him up close plus he could get to know the city before the coming lockout. But no all we are left with are BC promises of future potential and these infamous words- ‘trust me”.

    I was told as a youngster whenever someone says ‘trust me’ it’s a red flag- especially coming from a professional liar like BC.

    BC should just rename the Raptors as the Toronto Bargnani’s as Barg’s gets his way under BC even if he had only 2 double doubles on the season while Ed had 12 & Amir had 11.

    The greatest weapon of BC is the minds of the fans.

    The greatest weapon of the fans is our collective wallets- empty ACC seats will make BC take notice that the fans don’t want to support a NBA experimental International team we want a real NBA team to support- no more projects we want ready to go players from day 1!

  6. Love the pick. Love it.

    Not sure how anyone who has watched our soft-as-tissue paper center can be bummed.

  7. @ chris

    Because that soft as tissue center will now be moved to PF and either Amir or Ed will most likely get traded away to accomodate AB’s lazy bum self.

    And the pick won’t be ready for potentially 5 years to be a regular NBA starting center (Casey has called him both a 4 & a 5 for what it is worth) as Val is as skinny as an anorexic teenager he’s another BC Euro project ala Barg’s and we all know how Barg’s coddled butt turned out but yet BC’ wants fans to “trust him” on this pick after the past 2 3/4 seasons post Sam?smdh.

    While that breakdrancing PG from the Bronx, NY via UConn- Kemba Walker, is a ready to go player from day 1- big difference as potential gets people fired.

  8. I absolutely love this pick. Kudos to BC for keeping this close to his chest. JVal will be a beast. Put on 15-20 more pounds and there you have it. He is the steal of the draft. For those pining for Kemba, Knight and Biyombo, be prepared to be underwhelmed by their NBA careers. This was not a drafting based on need. He clearly was the best player at five. Future replacement for Tim Duncan? Yea, the Spurs thought so as well.

  9. @ balls of steel

    “The decision was made according to our roster, we have umpteen million guards and we were looking at the young men Walker, Knight, and Leonard, but we had a lot of players at their position. What we don’t have is rim protection, length, and athleticism in the middle. Amir is a good player but he doesn’t have the length of this player.” – Dwane Casey

    I believe DCasey just proved you wrong- the more we really know.lol

  10. @ BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    My last post was my opinion. Casey has his and I respect it. He is the head coach and works for the organization. I don’t think it was based on need because we have several front court players that play the center position (albeit by committee, sometimes Ed, Amir, Alexis and even Solomon) and has Andrea as our starting center. Clearly, it was in my opinion as a fan, a selection based not on need but as the best available player at the time. Casey didn’t prove me wrong. He has his opinion (which is legit) and I have mine.

  11. This is an awesome, a few years many skeptics (and there are very few, besides the casual Raptor fan) will be eating their words. How Cleveland passed up on such a talent I do not know, you ALWAYS pick the best player available regardless of whether he comes into the league 1,2 or maybe even 3 years down the line, luckily for us, Jonas will arrive in 2012-2013 and with the impending lockout, there may not even be a season while he is allowed to develop overseas. He has length, he’s athletic, high motor, great instincts, rebounds, blocks shots and flat out just plays defence the way it’s supposed to be played.

    Walker, Knight, etc, drafted 8 and 9th, in any other draft they’d fall in the upper teens. You misinterpreted what Casey was saying, saying “we have umpteenmillion guards” implies that neither Knight nor Walker are good enough to provide a significant upgrade (longterm or short term) over the players we have playing point guard right now, if they were, then they would’ve been drafted no question, but they are not.

    BCGheradiniJayGots2Go, look at the BIG PICTURE, this is a TRUE rebuild, a marathon, not a sprint, BC is starting from scratch, gone are the days of signing aging/overpaid veterans to compensate for a deficiency on the roster. I’d say this is the first time ever that BC has rebuilt through the draft with the franchise, and you have to admit, he has a superb drafting record.

  12. Bayless, at 22 soon to be 23, is only 20 months older than Kemba Walker and only 3 years older than Knight.

    http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Jerryd-Bayless-1067/

  13. @ balls of steel

    Fair enough.lol But from their perspective- the folks running the show making the decision- it was.

    @ jayso

    Val is a project with potential- nothing more he could be a starter, rotation player or a bust we just don’t know and will have to wait 3-5 years after his arrival in the TDot to find out as BC & Casey are already softening expectations on their extra skinny draft pick via the media as Casey has described Jonas as both a 4 & a 5- he’s a 4 right now who they believe will grow into a 5- time will tell.

    Kemba will be a ready to go NBA player from day 1 and most likely a top favorite to win ROY if there is a season in 2011-12.

    A true rebuild would be getting rid of BC, Gheradini & Jay.

    Now a true team rebuild would first have to start with trading away the 2 current longest tenured Raptors under BC- Jose & Andrea, who happen to exemplify what is exactly wrong with the Rap’s (finished 30th- last in the NBA in Team defense the past 2 years) lack of consistence defense over 82 games.

    Not to mention that they play the two most crucial positions related to team defense the PG & Center (I’m a PF I know baby Barg’s) positions as Jose allows more penetration than a Las Vegas call girl while Barg’s rotates & protects the rim like Alicia Silverstone (Clueless).

    Until that happens it’s just more BullChit PR media spins in the wind on ‘losing with a purpose’- add sugar, water and stir….

    As well, as soon as BC said ‘trust me’ in relation to drafting Jonas red flags should go up- peoples initial reaction to this draft pick is usually their most sincere & true to heart ie non media manipulated as:

    Media =’s Medium =’s Hypnotizing minds 1 Raptors fan at a time.

  14. Love the pick. Just love it. Clearly a hetter choice than Knight or (especially) Walker. Kemba may be a New York b-boy, but I’ve heard Jonas does a killer running man. Head and shoulders best choice for the 5th pick. No regrets.

  15. Im not worried about him becoming Andrea 2.0, I am worried JV is going to become Arujo 2.0!!!

  16. @ SR

    Time will tell, buddy.

    If both Knight & Walker blow up early on while Val struggles…….BC may be the 1 doing the running man out of Town- I can only hope for as much I chill in my BBoy stance!lol

  17. @ Rob

    I’d be more content with the pick of Val IF it meant that Barg’s was being traded away ASAP. but it most likely means that either Amir or Ed will be moved to accomodate AB’s move to PF before or once Val arrives in Town.

  18. I think the big difference here is that NBA analysts and scouts alike have all stated that Jonas was a great pickup by T.O. and may even be the steal of the draft. Again, any player can end up being a bust, but that doesn’t seem to be the general consensus from NBA writers. I keep reading about how this guy bangs and runs the floor etc. I read somewhere that his rebounding rate adjusted to 36 minutes was something like 17.5. Araujo never got this kind of love when he was drafted by the Raps. Based on everything I am reading, I am super excited about JV and believe that we made the right pick. Another thing, BC and Casey are not in any way softening expectations. Unless I missed that one…just my thoughts!

  19. I think that IF Bargnani becomes a more Dirk-like, scores with more efficiency, and improves his defense, he could make a formidable pair with JV. However, JV isn’t coming over for another year. Because of that, we don’t have a big man log jam for another year, and as a result I think BC is giving AB one last year to prove himself–and if he doesn’t Bargnani might be the one that gets traded, vs Amir or Davis.

    Does he deserve one more year? Probably not. But I’d would rather see AB turn himself into an asset than turn into a writeoff, if only because that would shorten the rebuild.

    Of course the other scenario is that no one from this draft ever earns an all-star nod and it becomes completely moot who we picked, because they all sucked.

  20. Barg’s is a 4!!! I know that he is 7 feet tall but so is Dirk and nobody has ever tried to call him a center. He is not a rim protector and never will be. He is not an elite rebounder and never will be. Dirk isn’t these things either. The guy can score the ball and would be an all-star level player if he had a Tyson Chandler/Noah type of player next to him at the 5. It was the same situation with Dirk and that is why the Mavs didn’t resign Nash and instead tried to find a true center to put next to Dirk. Dampier, Haywood, then Chandler. The best formula for winning championships in the NBA is by having a huge frontline. Are Knight and Kemba safe and more exciting short-term picks? YES…are either player going to make the difference between deep playoff runs and first round exits? NO. Playoff basketball is about have size and depth in the frontcourt and taking care of the ball. Val was the right pick if the Raps are trying to put a winning team on the court. Additionally, no matter who the Raps pick they were gonna stink next year so it is better the really stink and have a top 5 pick in a loaded 2012 draft then to moderately stink and get the 9th or 10th pick. I like Kemba’s game and leadership a lot but anybody who thinks he is worth the #5 pick doesn’t know NBA basketball at all.

  21. even if JV comes over after 1 year, he’ll likely be lost on the court as he adjusts to the new team, the new city, and of course an NBA game that is alien to him.

    so it’ll be 3 years easy before he brings any impact at all to the franchise; at which point BC will be gone and a new GM will come in to try to fix the mistakes our current GM has been piling up.

    all those who are crowing about how much they like this pick; and giving as a reason for their approval the fact that BC ‘kept his cards close to his chest’ should have their heads examined. Your evaluation of a talent that isn’t even going to play here for a minimum of one full season is based on the ‘bravery’ of the GM? sigh. idiots.

  22. Actually cb, he will only be away for one season and like any rookie will have to adjust to a new team, a new city and the NBA game. The College game is much different, which is why many College studs become mediocre players when their game doesn’t translate to the NBA. So it would be like getting two first round picks next year to add to an already rebuilding team. Regarding Jonas, clearly you know more than essentially every NBA analyst in the various sports media outlets regarding JV and the fact that the Raps selected him. Maybe you should follow your brain and not your heart. Oh wait…

  23. @ Cullen Stewart

    Dirk is a much better rebounder and defender than Barg’s as Dirk is a basketball player and Bargnani is just someone who plays basketball- recognize.

    As well Barg’s is a lazy ass moo’fer while Dirk plays the game hard with heart- big difference.

    So when you here Casey trumpet AB as ‘Dirk like’ just remember he is BC’s new ‘yes man’ to replace the pomoted puppet Jay aka Company Man (as per Jack Armstrong).

    The unconfirmed rumor floating around the net is that LFrank wouldn’t coddled AB so he was bypassed in favor of Casey who will do whatever BC tells him to do, say in relation to Raptors basketball- looks as if Casey sold his independent thoughts to BC in order to secure the Rap’s head coach job ie calling AB the Team’s ‘star player’ although he’s never been an all star- time will tell.

    Here are Dirk’s rebound #’s throughout his career:

    98-99 3.4
    99-00 6.5
    00-01 9.2
    01-02 9.9
    02-03 9.9
    03-04 8.7
    04-05 9.7
    05-06 9.0
    06-07 8.9
    07-08 8.6
    09-10 8.4
    10-11 7.7
    10-11 7.0

    Career average: 8.4

    Here are Barg’s career rebound numbers:

    06-07 3.9
    07-08 3.7
    08-09 5.3
    09-10 6.2
    10-11 5.2

    Career average: 4.9

    Bargnani is a ‘CANCER’- point blank as he keeps the lockerroom split post Sam over his half ass ways and preferential treatment from BC, Gheradini( AB’s own personal GM) &, Jay and newly hired yes man Casey (JJack, JJohnson, AWright, HTurk, Rasho).

    @ cb

    BC will most likely use the rebuild is moving in the right direction come contract negotiations in a few years. BC has this team at the bottom of the NBA the only place to go is up unless we find ourselves trapped in the perpetual Lottery quagmire of the NBA with the T’Wolves being the Rap’s NBA paradigm- fans beware of those who speak in condescending lies to the fans like politicians politicking.

    This draft pick sucks big time no matter how much BC has his media minions going to work in the TDot, RaptorsTV & in the blogosphere even goig as far as to call fans who don’t like the pick and/or BC’s Euro vision for the Rap’s as being racist, prejudice and/or xenophobic.

    Is BC running the Rap’s or running for Public Office in Nazi Germany as he has his media minions and brainwashed supporters spewing hateful propaganda in support of selecting Val over KWalker against those who question the pick of a project with potential instead of a ready to go player from day 1– the D League is for development isn’t it???!!lmfao

    @ Assistant GM

    Experts can and are wrong in relation to NBA talent evaluations all the time as potential gets folks fired- I want ready to go NBA players not any more 5 year Euro projects.

    Right now Jonas is a skinny ass kid who is currently ‘more of a 4 than a 5′ (as per Casey) that is a few years away from being a legit NBA big man but the Rap’s HOPE that he will grow into a 5 ala Barg’s.

    As soon as BC said ‘trust me” on this draft pick he lost me- trust a liar & condescending Ivy League deceiver like BC- no way Jose!!

    The fans 1st initial reaction to this draft pick is the truest measure not going by fans reaction after the fact who have been PR spun to death by the various media outlets who are posting one sided fluff pieces in support of justifying this draft pick to the bewildered fan base as well SA wanted him.lmfao

  24. @ Cullen Stewart

    Dirk is a much better rebounder and defender than Barg’s as Dirk is a basketball player and Bargnani is just someone who plays basketball- recognize.

    As well Barg’s is a lazy ass moo’fer while Dirk plays the game hard with heart- big difference.

    So when you hear Casey trumpet AB as ‘Dirk like’ just remember he is BC’s new ‘yes man’ to replace the promoted puppet Jay aka Company Man (as per Jack Armstrong).

    The unconfirmed rumor floating around the net is that LFrank wouldn’t coddled AB so he was bypassed in favor of Casey who will do whatever BC tells him to do, say in relation to Raptors basketball- looks as if Casey sold his independent thoughts to BC in order to secure the Rap’s head coach job ie calling AB the Team’s ‘star player’ although he’s never been an all star- time will tell.

    Here are Dirk’s rebound #’s throughout his career:

    98-99 3.4
    99-00 6.5
    00-01 9.2
    01-02 9.9
    02-03 9.9
    03-04 8.7
    04-05 9.7
    05-06 9.0
    06-07 8.9
    07-08 8.6
    09-10 8.4
    10-11 7.7
    10-11 7.0

    Career average: 8.4

    Here are Barg’s career rebound numbers:

    06-07 3.9
    07-08 3.7
    08-09 5.3
    09-10 6.2
    10-11 5.2

    Career average: 4.9

    Bargnani is a ‘CANCER’- point blank, as he keeps the lockerroom split (JJack, JJohnson, AWright, HTurk, Rasho) post Sam over his half ass ways and preferential treatment from BC, Gheradini (AB’s own personal GM), Jay and newly hired ‘yes man’ Casey.

    @ cb

    BC will most likely use the rebuild is moving in the right direction come contract negotiations in a few years. BC has this team at the bottom of the NBA the only place to go is up unless we find ourselves trapped in the perpetual Lottery quagmire of the NBA with the T’Wolves being the Rap’s NBA paradigm- fans beware of those who speak in condescending lies to the fans like politicians politicking.

    This draft pick sucks big time no matter how much BC has his media minions going to work in the TDot, RaptorsTV & in the blogosphere even goig as far as to call fans who don’t like the pick and/or BC’s Euro vision for the Rap’s as being racist, prejudice and/or xenophobic.

    Is BC running the Rap’s or running for Public Office in Nazi Germany as he has his media minions and brainwashed supporters spewing hateful propaganda in support of selecting Val over KWalker against those who question the pick of a project with potential instead of a ready to go player from day 1– the D League is for development isn’t it???!!lmfao

    @ Assistant GM

    Experts can and are wrong in relation to NBA talent evaluations all the time as potential gets folks fired- I want ready to go NBA players not any more 5 year Euro projects.

    Right now Jonas is a skinny ass kid who is currently ‘more of a 4 than a 5′ (as per Casey) that is a few years away from being a legit NBA big man but the Rap’s HOPE that he will grow into a 5 ala Barg’s.

    As soon as BC said ‘trust me” on this draft pick he lost me- trust a liar & condescending Ivy League deceiver like BC- no way Jose!!

    The fans 1st initial reaction to this draft pick is the truest measure not going by fans reaction after the fact who have been PR spun to death by the various media outlets who are posting one sided fluff pieces in support of justifying this draft pick to the bewildered fan base as well SA wanted him.lmfao

  25. @ BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

    I did not say that Bargs is the next Dirk or anything like that. My point was that Brags is like Dirk in that he is 7 feet tall but not a center. Dirk is one of the best players in the history of the NBA. Bargs has no chance of coming anywhere close to Dirk’s greatness. However, they are both the same type/style of player (7 foot tall shooters that can score in a lot of ways but are not centers in terms of rebounding for that position or defending the rim.) Dirk has never been treated as a center by the Mavs but because the Raps had Bosh at PF they thought they could make Bargs a center. This was obviously a huge mistake!

    The Val pick is great because a) he wants to play center and will be an aggressive rebounder and rim protector (this is the Raps greatest need) b) he has far and away the greatest upside on any of the players left on the board at #5 c) a good center is the hardest position to fill in the NBA by far d) beside Bismack, all the other players left to draft from were a dime a dozen in the NBA in terms of talent and upside.

    BC has made a ton of mistakes so my liking this pick isn’t an endorsement of is tenure by any means. But, this pick was the right one to make at #5. Remember in a true rebuild for a small market team in the NBA, which I’m sure you’ll agree that Toronto is despite its actual size, you need to get at least a couple top 5 picks. Val enables the Raps to get a good player this year but still keep them in top 5 position in the 2012 draft. 2012 is the time to try and make huge progress towards opening a championship window. Bargs and Jose will be easier to trade then because of less years on their contracts and certainty about the new CBA. BUT MOST OF ALL, the talent at the very top of the 2012 draft will be loaded with future franchise players. If Kemba and Knight are as good as you say then they would push Toronto down the draft board and ruin the teams chance at another top 5 pick. Additionally, Kemba and Knight would be out of the lottery in next year’s draft but Val wouldn’t…if anything that should prove to you that they aren’t worth a top 5 pick.

    Don’t let a bad year in the NCAA fool you BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!! into thinking Kemba or Knight is a top 5 pick and don’t let your blind hatred of BC (which I mostly share) mean that you can’t see what is best for the long-term benefit of the franchise. A strong and deep front court is the recipe for an NBA title…blowing your #5 pick on combo guards with no all-start potential is not the way to go if you want the Raps to have a chance at being a top level team in 3 or 4 years.

  26. I have to say, I simply don’t understand why anyone was surprised with this pick. When Thompson went fourth, Valanciunas was the guy I figured they would choose. Were people surprised last year when they tabbed Ed Davis? Both guys fell lower than they were expected and the Raptors were there both times.

    If anyone saw the U19 Lithuania-US game, Valanciunas played very well. My thoughts here…
    http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/2011/06/valanciunas-impresses-in-route-of-americans/

  27. @ Cullen Stewart

    Fair enough.lol

    But I disagree with you on KWalker my pick for ROY (if there is a season) I feel that he will be a very solid NBA PG- not a combo guard, as he was asked to shoot more by his college coach Calhoun because his UConn team was so young (pre season picked to finish 10th in Big East) last season. KWalker dropping to 8th will have him motivated.

    As well, BKnight now has a chip on his shoulder- did you see him draft night?, his eyes were welled up as he drooped to #8 and walked up to shake Stern’s hand. He is motivated to prove the teams who passed on him wrong- the Rap’s now have 2 more players that will get hyped up to play them in the future now.

    I have a gut feeling that looking back on this draft in 5 years that alot of people will think how did all those International players go ahead of both Walker & Knight & how did KLeonard drop all the way to #15 where SA traded PG George Hill for him- time will tell.

    BC and/or some Rap’s fans seem to be on SA’s draft jock lately.

    @ Tim W

    We don’t care what you think as you try to label people like me who disagree with the Val pick a somehow being ‘racist’ (as you called me- a black man, a ‘racist’ point blank on RR)- recognize, chump!

  28. Edit:

    *KWalker dropped to #9- Bobcats.

  29. It’s sad that “Raptor Blog” has turned into one of those sites to never read the comments. In a few days even.
    BCG this is the only thing I”m going to say to you – you are the most insufferable kind of person to try and have a discussion, because you never admit you are wrong, you’re never willing to discuss, move your position based on evidence provided by the opposing party. You are so full of yourself that your opinion is more correct than most “experts.” You answer everyone else’s comment and effectively (because how else you gonna do it online?) shout everyone down.
    You are a Bore.

  30. lexomatic: Are you saying that I don’t read the comments or that you don’t want to read the comments because of certain people that comment here? The former isn’t true. As for the latter, if there are certain commenters that annoy or inflame you with everything they post, I don’t think it’s that difficult to skim past their name and read the next comment. Of course, when everybody takes the bait to respond to people like that, then things get problematic.

  31. @ lexomatic

    I’m not infallible like BC tries to come off as being to Rap’s fans, far from it.lol

    Also, trying to psychoanalyze someone over the internet makes you look rather facetious Nature- recognize, it’s all done in fun but how fun is it currently being a Rap’s fan under BC’s reign the past 2 3/4 seasons?smh

    His self stated ‘Euro/International’ vision for the Rap’s is setting the Team back in years post Sam- someone needs to call BC on it.

  32. @ BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!

    You gotta joking. Knowone can be as blinded as you. Can you tell us a little bit about your boy Kemba Walker. How many games did you watch him play this year? What are his skills? Watching the NCAA tournament really isnt much of a sample. If Jonas wasnt a euro but still couldnt play for another year. Im guessing your oprions would be different

  33. @ David McDonald

    Insinuation is like masturbation it only gets you off, buddy.smh

    Why don’t you just YouTube Kemba Walker as that’s all Dwane Casey had seen of Val pre draft- video tape.lol

    Wanna call me a racist? Prejudice? Xenophobic? lmfao@u

    Even my conditioning has been conditioned.

    The greatest weapon of BC is the minds of the fans.

  34. @BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!,

    Actually, I said it was a racist statement when you said that you didn’t want Europeans on the team because they were all soft. And whether you like it or not, it IS a racist statement.

  35. @ Tim W

    I have never in my life posted on RR that I didn’t want ‘ANY’ Euros on the Rap’s nor that ‘ALL’ European basketball players are soft- I not that stupid, friend, as I grew up watching Drazen Petrovic, Vlade Divac, Detlef Schrempf & Sarunas Marciulionis all of who were all tough nosed Euros in the NBA- recognize.

    You be straight post lying just like BC be straight face lying- who is the father of all lies!!!lmfao@u

    In the words of LL Cool J- That’s A Lie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-2oDpUYUlc

    Go Rap’s!!

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