On Thursday, the Raptors officially announced that they and center Jonas Valanciunas reached an agreement on a contract extension worth $64MM over four years. The pact also includes a player option on the fourth year. “Jonas’ contributions continue to improve with each season and we view him as a significant part of what we are building in Toronto,” Toronto GM Masai Ujiri said in the team’s press release regarding the deal.
The extension didn’t come as a surprise after Ujiri had relayed this past spring that Valanciunas was “a huge part of our team” for the future. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun had reported in early July that the Raptors planned to work toward extensions with both Valanciunas and Terrence Ross, though the team’s front office has seemed to be especially enamored with Valanciunas, and they seemed to blame the team’s coaching staff for the slow development in the center’s game. The Raptors and head coach Dwane Casey overhauled the team’s group of assistant coaches this offseason, bringing in Rex Kalamian, Andy Greer and Jerry Stackhouse to hopefully hasten Valaciunas’ development along.
Valanciunas’ $60MM deal makes him one of the league’s most highly paid big men, eclipsing the $12MM a year that Nikola Vucevic snagged on the extension he signed with the Magic this past fall. Enes Kanter came away with a max deal of about $70MM this summer as the salary structure of the NBA continues to change in advance of the projected leaps in the salary cap. This brings me to today’s topic: What are your thoughts on Jonas Valanciunas’ extension with the Raptors?
Do you feel that a $15MM annual salary is in line with Valanciunas’ production and potential? With salaries expected to jump dramatically on deals signed beginning next Summer, will this pact be looked at as a bargain in a few short seasons, or a bust? Whatever your feelings are on the matter, we want to hear them. Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.
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