The Raptors and Jonas Valanciunas are reportedly working toward a four-year contract extension that would be worth more than $60MM, and the two sides could finalize the deal as early as this week. While inking the young big man to such a lucrative pact may be a big risk for a player with career averages of 10.9 points and 8.0 rebounds, TSN.ca’s Josh Lewenberg notes that Valanciunas is just 23 years old, and the Raptors still believe in him and his potential (Twitter links). Lewenberg also adds that the center needs to improve his passing, mobility, and perimeter defense to justify receiving that vote of confidence from the organization, but with the salary cap expected to increase markedly next season, Valanciunas wouldn’t have much difficulty securing that size of an offer in the free agent marketplace from another team.
Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:
- While some may have doubts that Valanciunas is worth an annual salary in the $15MM range, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca believes signing the big man to a four-year, $60MM extension would be a steal for the Raptors organization. Grange cites Valancinuas’ improved numbers last season, as well as durability, with the center having missed just seven contests in three NBA seasons, as reasons why Toronto is making a wise move in extending the player.
- Sixers center Joel Embiid underwent successful surgery today on his right foot, Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Twitter link). Embiid is expected to miss the entire 2015/16 campaign, his second straight after being selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
- Jason Richardson took to his personal Twitter account to thank the Sixers for their support of him the last three seasons. The 34-year-old only appeared in a total of 52 contests during his tenure in Philadelphia, and the unrestricted free agent has inked a non-guaranteed pact with the Hawks for the 2015/16 campaign.