The Raptors have taken notice of what Jonas Valanciunas has been doing so far this off-season. In fact Dwane Casey sees Jonas having a bigger piece of the pie on offensive end of the floor this upcoming season.
“He has developed into the type of player that we can go to on a consistent basis far more than we did last year” Casey stated. This for anyone that paid attention his MVP performance in Las Vegas would likely agree with. More to the point Casey sees some development in the basketball IQ of his big center.
“He has done a good job not only scoring out of the low post, but did a good job of reading defences, understanding when to pass, when to score and when to attack.” Casey continued by saying, “ So, I would say he is going to get a big portion of his offense run through him, around him and not only out of the low post but to quarterback.”
Big plans it would seem for sure but one thing that should be stated is there were quite a few turnovers as part of that development in Las Vegas. Still it became fairly obvious who the best player on the floor was for the Summer League version of the Raptors. Double teams may still come but this will be at the risk of leaving other talented players open like Lowry, Gay and DeRozan.
Jonas’ summer is far from finished as well with an expected participation for his homeland of Lithuania in the upcoming European Championships that will serve as the qualifier for the FIBA World Cup that has been renamed that instead of plan old World Championships. Canada is also getting ready for its own qualifying efforts in Toronto this week for that same tournament. In any case the chances we see Jonas play a big role for his nation likely would seem high coming off his performance this season and in Las Vegas.
He competed for his nation in London at the 2012 Olympics and to say the least was both under utilized and under performed at that event. The plan with his NBA team is the complete 180 degrees from that. The Raptors will be counting on Jonas to log some pretty serious minutes you would have to figure with the current roster in place. His health and development will be critical to any type of success the Raptors hope to enjoy.
He may look nothing like Ryback in the WWE, but it seems very clear the Raptors plan to FEED HIM MORE. Jonas is looking great and clearly is not missing many meals over the off-season and using that fuel to make himself bigger and hopefully better.