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Adrian Wojnarowski: Just a clarification on Valanciunas terms: Straight 4 years, $64M.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Valanciunas deal includes a player option for fourth year, league sources tell Yahoo.
The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed centre Jonas Valanciunas to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed. “Jonas’ contributions continue to improve with each season and we view him as a significant part of what we are building in Toronto,” said Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri.
Josh Lewenberg: Can confirm reports Raptors & Valanciunas are close on an extension. They have until Oct31 deadline but could get done as early as this week
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say Jonas Valanciunas has indeed taken brief leave from Lithuanian NT to return to Toronto to firm up extension with Raptors. ESPN sources say Valanciunas extension is not done but sides are in advanced discussions on four-year pact worth in excess of $60 million
Kevin Rashidi: Some big news, heard Jonas Valanciunas is on his way to Toronto for Medicals and to sign a long-term contract with the Raptors. No other details but he’s sitting out of a couple of Lithuania’s upcoming friendlies and their coach confirmed he’s flying back to Toronto.
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September 27, 2021 | 9:36 am EDT Update
Towns received treatment at an area hospital, then quarantined at home for the next few weeks, isolated from friends and family. Basketball had been the closest thing in his life to an outlet. Now, by himself, he had no choice but to confront the pain that followed his mother’s sudden death. “I’ve had a lot of situations this year where things were just too much for me,” Towns says. “I just remember [quarantining] in the house, and it was more than just COVID for me. I felt like I was going through a holistic journey.”
A high-calorie diet eventually solved his weight problem. But that night inside Quicken Loans Arena, in the same building with so many people for the first time since he was able to leave his house, anxiety enveloped Towns on the bench. When the first quarter ended he texted his agent: “I can’t be out here anymore. I can’t do this.” He rushed back to the locker room, where Minnesota’s head equipment manager Peter Warden asked if everything was O.K.
“I felt like everything was an open-ended sentence, you know? There was no closure. There was no period at the end,” he says. “I just kept running on and running on and running on, but I never really got to where I needed to go to end a conversation.”
There were days when being around teammates carried him. Basketball felt like it could provide a blip of relief. There were others when he thought about stepping away and giving himself space to mourn. “[My mother] made basketball fun for me my whole entire life,” Towns says. “She made it where I wanted to even do this. So for me, I was like, [There’s] too much on my mind. I’m not, I can’t, nah, I can’t.”
“That money s— don’t mean s— to me,” he says. “Time is the real thing we losing every day. I just really didn’t think I could play the game of basketball the way I want to represent myself in the NBA. I didn’t want to represent myself in a bad way. There’d be a lot of times we’d play a game. Game’s over. And I’m not even in there. I’m doing my own thing. I’m in the bathroom looking at myself, wondering if this is the man that I really think I am. I had 40. I’m still not happy with the man I see in the mirror. I’m still dealing with a lot of s—.”