We’ve discussed at length many times this season that Jonas Valanciunas is one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise dark situation for the Raptors, and on Tuesday, we got more evidence of that as Valanciunas was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team.
Valanciunas, who finished seventh in rookie scoring, third in rebounding, third in blocks and third in double-doubles, is the 10th player in franchise history to be named to an All-Rookie Team.
While Valanciunas’ defence and energy were the strengths most fans were looking forward to watching in his debut season, it was the big man’s offence that took us by surprise and really opened our eyes to how high the now 21-year-old’s ceiling can be, as Jonas’ True Shooting Percentage of .618 is tied for the fourth-highest mark of any rookie in NBA history to play at least 1000 minutes.
In case you’re wondering, the All-Rookie First Team consists of Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Dion Waiters and Harison Barnes, while Valanciunas is joined by Andre Drummond, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kyle Singler and Tyler Zeller on the Second Team.
The other nine Raptors to be selected to an All-Rookie Team were Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby, Vince Carter, Morris Peterson, Chris Bosh, Charlie Villanueva, Andrea Bargnani, Jorge Garbajosa and Jamario Moon. In other words, the Raptors have had a top-10 rookie in half of their seasons in existence so far without it preceding much future team success. Here’s hoping Valanciunas is where the tide turns.
On another note, the second round of the playoffs is in full swing, the Jays are a quarter of the way through their season, the Leafs saw their unlikely playoff run come to a crushing, heartbreaking end last night, I left the country for the better part of a week, and through all of that, we still don’t know if Bryan Colangelo will be back next season (though the latest report is that Colangelo may step down if the decision takes any longer).
So much for getting this situation cleared up and taken care of quickly. Come on, Phil, hurry up and turn Leiweke down already so that we can all find out just what the hell is going on here.