The four-year, $64MM extension that Jonas Valanciunas signed this week is a good deal for both him and the Raptors, writes Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Sun. If the 23-year-old center has an outstanding year in 2015/16, he may have cost himself some money by not waiting to negotiate, Wolstat notes, especially with the salary cap expected to rise into the neighborhood of $90MM next summer. However, Valanciunas opted for security and the satisfaction of making more than four times more than his previous salary. “That’s why we’re doing the deal, because I feel the trust in me,” Valanciunas said. “I’m ready to go out and compete on the court. Now it’s my time to do something.”
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- The deal that netted Valanciunas his extension came together quickly, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. Last week, Valanciunas was preparing for Eurobasket 2015 with his national team in Lithuania. He arrived in Toronto on Monday and stayed until the extension was finalized. “There’s a great opportunity for me to stay in a good city,” Valanciunas said. “I love Toronto, I love to play here, it’s my second home. They take me as if I’m from here. It’s great. I just feel for the Raptors. I feel good about it. A contract is just a contract.”
- Knicks associate head coach Kurt Rambis is the right choice to mentor Kristaps Porzingis, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. League sources have told Begley that most of the responsibility for developing the 7’0″ rookie will fall on Rambis, who spent 14 years in the NBA as a power forward.
- Celtics rookie Terry Rozier thinks his summer league experience will help get him ready for the pace of the NBA game, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Many were surprised when Boston tabbed Rozier with the 16th pick, but the toughness, competitiveness and defensive prowess that attracted the Celtics was on display this summer. “I think I grew a lot out there, just seeing the spacing and learning to play with a different pace at this level,” Rozier said. “I’m a fast learner, so to meet people and be in that environment was special, because I learned a lot and got better.”