4:04pm: Click here to read this week’s chat transcript!
3:00pm: The Raptors and Jonas Valanciunas are reportedly close to a four-year extension worth more than $60MM, the latest indication that NBA economics are undergoing a metamorphosis. The Lithuanian center is a former No. 5 overall pick, but last season’s pedestrian 12.0 points per game were a career high, and he’s a minus defender, as I examined earlier this month. Extensions usually entail the player making the sacrifice, but Valanciunas appears poised to sign a deal with an average annual value greater than all but one of the players on this past season’s title-winning Warriors team. Still, the projected maximum that Valanciunas could sign for in an extension is $20.4MM, so perhaps Toronto will end up with a bargain after all. We can discuss Valanciunas, the rapidly-changing NBA salary structure, the latest on Jamal Crawford and Jason Terry, and much more in today’s chat.