NBA Rumor: Jonas Valanciunas Trade

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Perhaps of greatest intrigue, the Toronto Raptors have called Memphis offering Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry for both of Conley and Gasol, league sources told Sports Illustrated. Memphis, sources said, would prefer to receive younger players such as OG Anunoby or draft assets in any exchange with Toronto that would send Conley north. The Grizzlies of course rejected Toronto’s initial offer. Lowry has been made aware of Toronto’s negotiations involving him, according to once source close to the All-Star point guard.
3 years ago via TSN

If Ujiri is looking to make a significant change to his roster, particularly in the starting lineup, a frontcourt shakeup is more likely. Even after a season and a half, the Raptors are not sold on the Ibaka-Valanciunas pairing, according to team sources, believing both are better suited playing centre at this stage of their careers. If it simply came down to preference, Toronto would gladly move on from Ibaka following his inconsistent 2017-18 season and disappointing playoff performance. However, finding a trade partner willing to absorb the $44.9 million he’s owed over the next two seasons would almost certainly require them to take back a bad contract, or cost them additional assets – picks or young players, something Ujiri may be reluctant to do after parting with a first and second-rounder to unload ’s contract a year ago.

There are two ways to look at the hiring of Nurse from the perspective of a Valanciunas supporter. First would be that he does not fit the small-ball, 3-point-heavy direction toward which Nurse will surely take the offense. That’s already gotten renewed trade talk bubbling around Valanciunas. But sources with knowledge of the situation say that’s not likely, that Valaniunas and Nurse will go nicely together. Valanciunas and Nurse had a good working relationship, and there is a sense that Valanciunas will only be encouraged to develop more confidence in his perimeter game, in an effort to space the floor and create passing and driving lanes for guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.

Exec weighs in: “They’ve shopped him in the past, but the contract is not so bad anymore, and he is playing better. He is a more aggressive defender and rebounder. So the thing that makes another team more willing to trade for him has got to make you think that you don’t really want to deal him after all. If you can find a piece that helps you on the wing, that’s great. But even with JV playing better, there are not a lot of teams looking for back-to-the-basket centers. I don’t see anything happening with him.”

Among the teams that could make a move for Marc Gasol are Toronto, Cleveland, Boston, and Portland. The Celtics and Cavaliers are seen as the class of the East, with Toronto a notch below. That could set up a potential bidding war that Memphis could use to its advantage in landing the best package for Gasol, 32, a former defensive player of the year. Industry sources tell me that the Raptors are open to moving center Jonas Valanciunas and have young players the Griz might be interested in pursuing, including Jakob Poeltl and Lucas Nogueira. Gasol would be a marked upgrade for a “now” team that needs to get to a finals with core stars DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.
4 years ago via TSN

Maintaining that self-belief has been crucial, especially over the last 12 months. Like the rest of us, he’s seen his name pop up in trade rumours. He’s heard people speculate about his position becoming obsolete in the ever-evolving NBA. Has it motivated him? “That is not motivating me at all,” he insisted. “I know what is motivating me – my family, I’ve got my teammates motivating me, the front office who are [telling me] what they want to do motivates me. I understand people got to talk, people are meant to talk, it’s never going to be different these days with social media and all that stuff, I see some [expletive] things but I just don’t give a [expletive]. I know what I’ve got to do, I know what my role is on this team and the team is the most important thing.”
4 years ago via TSN

It’s no secret that the Raptors have been shopping the 7-footer for the better part of the last six months. It’s been widely reported and Ujiri made little attempt to hide it on Tuesday. “Every player, from all the processes that we went through this summer, every player’s name was in trade talks,” Ujiri insisted. “That’s me being black and white. The players know, the agents know.” “I’ll be transparent,” he continued later, “there were some scenarios where if we’re trying to create [salary cap] space and do some other things in some of the other scenarios we had that maybe we made a move [with Valanciunas]. But with this team now we’re very comfortable.”
4 years ago via TSN

They spoke with several teams and a couple of them were willing to simply absorb the salary, according to sources, but the Raptors were reluctant to give Valanciunas away without recouping any value. They had drafted him fifth overall in 2011 and have spent five years’ worth of time and resources developing him. Most importantly, while his market value has crashed, he still has value to them, even in a situational role. He’s a nice luxury to have, assuming you can afford that luxury.
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September 27, 2021 | 10:03 am EDT Update

Contract extension on the radar for Karl-Anthony Towns

Towns has publicly committed to the Timberwolves several times, most recently at the end of the 2020–21 season, when he told reporters he wanted to have a career like Tim Duncan and Kobe Bryant, spending it all with one team. According to someone close to Towns, nothing related to that goal was altered in any meaningful way by Rosas’s dismissal. A contract extension is already on his radar.
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September 27, 2021 | 9:54 am EDT Update