Inconclusive. That’s Chad Ford describing the pick in his draft review, and I can’t agree with it more:

I’m not sure how I feel about the Raptors selecting Jonas Valanciunas. On one hand, he’s a legit 7-foot center who isn’t afraid to mix it up in the paint. On the other hand, it’s still unclear when he’s going to come into the NBA.

The Raptors took a big, long-term risk. It could pay off handsomely, but it won’t pay off right away. Given the Raptors’ fortunes the past few years, how long can they wait? If Valanciunas comes soon and develops, it was worth the risk. If it takes him a while to get here, they may have been better off with Biyombo.

Grade: Inconclusive

As much as Colangelo is hyping his pick up by saying how his phone is bursting with congratulatory text messages, and how he thinks he has “found the best talent and the best fit for this team”, there is nothing to suggest that this pick doesn’t have significant bust potential, if based on nothing but the high rate of Euro big men not living up to hype. The high-risk-high-reward game must be fun to play, but I prefer the safer picks like Ed Davis and DeMar DeRozan, who can help you sooner than later, and keep the fans interested. Don’t get too down though, you’ll get to see Valanciunas next year, with sources close to the organization believing that he has an excellent chance of coming over next season.

Here are two Colangelo quotes, first one from when Bargnani was drafted:

“Everyone has strengths, weaknesses, etc.,” general manager Bryan Colangelo said. “But at the end of the day, it came down that we felt that Andrea Bargnani was really the best pick for the future of this organization going forward. It’s not about today. It’s about today and tomorrow and we think that Andrea is a player that’s not only going to help us in the short run, but we think he’s going to grow into a terrific star in this league.”

Second one is from yesterday:

“I can tell you without question, we have found the best talent and the best fit for this team,” Colangelo said. “This young man is thought of as the best young [centre] prospect out there…his numbers from an analytics view point were off the charts,” Colangelo said. “He’s got a lot of life in his body. He’s got a long ways to go, but he’s going to be a great long-term pick…this is a solid pick, trust me.”

Analytics? Did he actually bring up analytics? If he’s going by analytics, Bargnani should be banished to the D-League without any further thought. Give me a break.

Anyway, comparing the two quotes, I hope the supporters of this pick understand why there is a tremendous amount of skepticism in certain fan circles about this pick. We’re being fed the same punch that we were five years ago, what’s to say this is going to be any different? At the same time, you can’t really criticize this pick because we’ve picked an unknown and criticizing an unknown is idiotic. It’s the same rationale that was applied to Andrea Bargnani, whether you like it or not you can’t even comment on whether this has been a good draft until five years, which is the time Colangelo thinks big men should be judged after. So yeah, let’s review this selection in the summer of 2016, hopefully I’ll be alive.

Now here’s the part about the draft that got me scratching my unkempt beard: Spurs selecting Cory Joseph. The Canadian went 28th to the Spurs and mind you the Spurs know what they’re doing when they draft. Unlike the Raptors, they actually target players, research them, and surgically extract them from the vast amount of crap that is out there. Here are some of their recent draft wins in late first round/second round picks: DeJuan BLair, George Hill, Goran Dragic, Beno Udrih, Leandro Barbosa, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola (buyout issue had him go to the Rockets).

The Raptors flipped the 27th pick for James Johnson, and would have had a clear shot at Joseph, which would have been a PR victory, and instantly increased the waning interest in this team. I’m not suggesting we draft players based on nationality and likabilty, far from it, but Joseph also happens to be a point guard who is known to be a good defender who has shown steady improvement. If we are rebuilding and aiming for the #1 pick next year (which we clearly are), I’ll take a Bayless/Joseph backcourt over Calderon/Bayless any day.

If you want to check out some Lithuanian ball, here you go.

You’ll see that the idea of him being the anti-Bargnani isn’t far from the truth, at least based on Euroleague play. It’s also clear that he needs to put on significant amount of muscle and improve his strength, before he even attempts to make an impact in the league. The obvious fear is that he doesn’t develop his basketball game, but equally important is whether he’ll be able to grow physically into the impact-center the Raptors need him to be. Is he going to stay rail thin or will he become a finely toned force in the middle? Who knows…

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  • Analytics, FTW.  #FreeTheStatsGeek

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      BC’s Euro vision for Raptors basketball is still in full e-f-f-e-c-t!BC’s bad karma is still very active in the Rap’s organization- recognize fans he’s f*cking the team up as we need a new President & GM ASAP not a new ‘Winning Plan’ from BC!!This is a bullchit pick- especially after we- the fans, suffered through last season’s bullchit ‘losing with a purpose’ from BC at least draft a player who will physically be in the TDot come Training Camp like Kemba Walker!!Kemba will make BC & the other GMs look stupid for bypassing him in the draft, trust.As well, Jonas won’t even be here until the season after this upcoming season- if then, as it could potentially take up to 3 years to get Jonas over in the TDot as his contract buyout has yet to even be negotiated (there is no buyout in writing currently) and Val’s Euro team doesn’t give a flying f*ck about the NBA, BC & the Rap’s- point blank.Btw- Valanciunas said his game is like CB’s.Casey sounds like he’s full of chit as he couldn’t even pronounce Jonas last name and didn’t really know sh*t about his game just generic descriptions thereof like all he seen was YouTube clips of Val.lmfaoAs well, how does this pick help Casey out this season with much needed roster talent upgrades?Casey & BC could both be gone by the time, if, Jonas ever does arrive in the TDot.Rap’s still need a big man- will they trade Ed and/or Amir in order to get one?I can see DD with one foot out of the door as a Kemba Walker/DeMar DeRozan backcourt would have been exciting as heck to watch mature together in the TDot plus add in PF Ed Davis and that trio- KWalker, DD & Ed, is a solid young rebuilding core moving forward to add veteran talent onto.I can’t wait for year 3 of BC’s current contract to run its course- hopefuly he will be fired before then.BC is still Pissing on us fans and calling it Rainwater- Sh*tting on us fans and calling it Kobe Steak- the Emperor has no clothes- new ‘Winning Plan’ my a**!!

      • Nilanka15

        If you scrolled right past this post, like my post.

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

          I got fans!!!lmfao

          On another note- Nilanka, get off my e dick and tell you mom to cum here asap!lol

          • Nilanka15

            My mom’s in a coma….

            • Joshuareynolds

              id hit it

              • Nilanka15

                You’d make Bargnani jealous

  • Vandel

    Knight could take 3+ years to get good and we had to take him instead of Walker. This pick is not more long term than that, what is the complaint.

    • Vandel

      Brandon Knight or Kemba Walker also would come here for 5-6 years then leave if they were actually good. So we would only have them for a shorter period where they were good(1-4 years). JV/Thompson/Joseph may actually resign if they were to pan out.

    • Raptor Jesus

      Speculative drivel

  • Black Angus

    Name one Euro centre who was a defensive force and/or team leader.

    • Guest

      Marc Gasol, Big Z, Rasho

    • Greg_doyle

      arvydas sabonis

    • JW

      Sabonis? Divac?

      Was there a defensive centre with leadership in this draft? Was there one in Andrea’s draft? (Maybe its rare… maybe you are asking for too much? Did Bosh have this leadership and defence? Was he a bad pick?)

    • pete

      Name one Canadian power foward who is a defensive force/ team leader, therefore Tristan Thomas will suck

      • Black Angus

        Not what I was getting at – the Raptors need defence and leadership – Jonas gives them neither

        • Uh, have you watched him play?  He’s a VERY good defensive player.  This is what bothers me most about the criticism of Valanciunas.  Most of it is just plain wrong.  People who apparently know nothing about the guy getting themselves worked into a lather based on nothing more than ignorance.

          These are the same people that booed when the Raptors didn’t select Ed O’Bannon.  Their knowledge of basketball seems to be purely based on what they see during the NCAA Tournament and Raptor games.  

          • sauce jr.

            …Or last year drafting Ed Davis over Avery Bradley. haha.  There was some outcry there as well.

          • James

            How many games did you watch him Play ?? Do you have league pass to Lithuanian league 🙂 or is your assumption based on the youtube videos of his highlights 🙂

            • I guessing I’ve watched him play more games than you.  And most other people.  And I will fully admit I haven’t seen a whole lot, but from what I’ve seen the guy can play defense and rebound.  

              • POINTS

                may i ask where did you watch him play

              • JAmes

                The guy can play defense and rebound against European big man. We all know NBA is a different beast. Keliza dominated European PFs when he was there. He literally dominated them but he can not do it against the NBA PFs. 
                Garbojosa was an elite PF in Europe but only an average SF here. I really like to see a comparison of his numbers to some of these European big man including guys like AB, Darko, Biedrins, Primiz and …

          • Tim, can you provide me a link to a video that shows him being a VERY good defensive player?  All I’ve seen are him blocking guys who are a foot shorter than him, and then a bunch of videos of him hitting open layups. 

            I’m truly asking here.  I need to find a reason to like this pick.

            • I watched a couple of games a couple of months back, but can’t find the links to them.  I just did some google searches and found them.  I wanted to find a game where he played against Kanter, but couldn’t. I still like Kanter better, but really like the pick.

              The games I watched he was playing against guys his size.  He’s been playing in a good European league and playing well.  

              • POINTS

                this guy lies so much

              • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

                STFU- Thank you.

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

            Who in the fuck has Jonas guarded, defended or lock down? Names I say!!lol

            Most everyone who disagrees w/ Val’s selection is ignorant or racist or xenophobic- get another propaganda tool, fool- we’re from the old school knowledge reigns supreme not a marketing team scheme.

            Ed O’Bannon was 15 years ago- recognize.

            Most Rap’s fans are more basketball educated nowadays especially with the GTA HS basketball scene blowing up they know what is going on with the Rap’s and not just accept BC’s Bullchit as word is bond.

      • Bigorangejacket

        What are you stupid? That’s like saying ‘name one space alien who lives on earth. Therefore aliens don’t exist.’ Obviously exaggerated but still the same logic.

    • pran

      don’t forget andrew bogut, im sick of all this xenophobia, lets judge a player on what he brings to the team, not the color of his skin

      • Black Angus

        Australia is not in Europe

        • POINTS


        • Jonathan

          Is it okay to start picking players from Australia but not Europe, then?  What’s your point?

  • JW

    Love the pick.  For a #5, this is a high value pick, Kemba or Knight will be worth peanuts if they start struggling and get benched.  This guy will have upside for a while.

    Now I am just hoping that he hits the weights and puts on some bulk.  Other than strength, I don’t see a down side.

    Is he going to be a defensive powerhouse?  Was Bosh?   I certainly think he can bring the same rebounding and scoring that Bosh did, he is uber efficient.    He might not be a Noah, but neither is Bosh, yet many will say he has as much value.

    • Mike

      Umm..comparing him to Bosh doesn’t make feel better about this pick..what did Bosh and Bargs do together, how many wins did we get out of that. I would have liked if we drafted a safer pick, someone that can contribute right away.

      • JW

        Dude, if you have a problem with adding a player of Bosh’s calibre to this team from this draft than you are expecting too much.

        There was no LeBron or Rose here, we needed to take best upside available.  If that is a player that can rebound and score, but plays average defence so be it.  Boozer is a horrible defender but he is an asset. 

        The expectations are puzzling me.  Not a great draft and not the best position.   For #5 pick, we killed it!   WE REALLY DID!

        • POINTS

          Their was a ALLEN IVERSON (5 games in 5 days) but our #5 pick should help when we go out west and play back to back playing beside our star stud leader

      • Ihatehaters

        How many wins? 18 more than after he left. You might not like Bosh, and maybe he didn’t mesh well with Bargs, but you can’t say that he wasn’t a good player.

        And why do we need someone who can contribute right away? The team won’t be making the playoffs (let alone competing for a championship) for at least another couple of years at the earliest. What’s the rush, and why not take a chance on someone who develops at a slower pace but has a much higher upside?

        • Mike

          Bosh was a good player don’t get me wrong, but like you said he didn’t mesh well with Bargs. There is upside to JVal, but there is upside to Walker, Knight, Leonard and Vessly as well. I think those players would have complemented the current roster better and contributed in year 1 rather a few years down the road. Plus when Jval comes what happens to Davis, Amir and Bargs..someone has to be the odd man out.  Yes no championships anytime soon, but at least give the fans something to be excited about this season (if there is a season)

          • POINTS

            when JV comes over raps should trade davis and amir for dallas backup point to help calderon and then trade DD and bayless for kerilenko(ak-47)

          • Hyena_laugh

            BARGNS NEEDS TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Andre

      um wow… your delusional. The same crap BC said when he drafted Andrea… come on. Everyone says “Wait” its been 5 dang years and Andrea still doesnt get it. You think he can guard the 4 position in the NBA? he couldnt guard Reggie Evans if they paid him a dollar. Look, the teams CULTURE needs to change. And this pick doesnt help. 

    • POINTS

      i can’t wait until JV and our star playa team up “heat check time it’s not fair ”

      free 76ers starting 5 t-shirt for you sir at: ESPN MARVEL COVERS

  • John

    Arsenalist, I entriely disagree with your opinion on this move.  I can’t believe you are letting all of the Euro bashing opinion out there that is coming from casual or non-basketball fans and media sway your opinion on this move.  If Colangelo had drafted Walker or Knight, the casual fans and media would have given him 100% support.  A smart GM would never listen to what the fans want. 

    All of the draft websites had Valuncianas going in the first 4 picks and most suggested he had the chance to be one of the best players in this draft.  All of the rumours had San Antonio (one of the best run organizations) trying to move up into the top 10 to get Valuncianas.

    Every pick in a draft (including Valuncianas) has risks but in this draft he is actually perhaps one of the players with less risk (at least from a talent perspective).  Example: Irving came off an injury and only played 11 games, Williams is highly talented but may not have a true position, Kanter seems to have talent but hasn’t played in real games so who really knows, Knight is talented but is a combo guard and is certainly not a PG at this point, Kemba is undersized, etc.).  If you think that a guy like Knight would have had an immediate impact on this team then I think you’re wrong.  Besides who cares about drafting someone who has the most immediate impact on this team.  This team needs TALENT as we’re in a full rebuild. Knight has talent but there are real questions if he is a PG or will develop into one and so even if he fulfils his potential (which he very well may) it will be in at least 2-3 years like every other player in this draft.

    All of the criticism is coming from fans who quite understandably are fed up with Bargnani.  But, by all accounts, Valuncianas is the anti-Bargnani.  He plays entirely within 10 feet of the basket, is a very strong rebounder, shot blocker and defender and he’s a true 7 ft center.  You rarely find those guys in the draft.  His biggest weaknesses are that he needs to put on weight and that he may not be here next year which is great because this team desperately needs 1 more high impact draft pick in next year’s deep draft. 

    I have been very critical of Colangelo over the last year or two after being one of his biggest supporters.  My biggest criticisms have been that he seemed to be lacking of any plan on how to build a team (he was entirely focused on making short term trades to immediately improve the team with little foresight into how that player fit into a medium or long term plan for this team) and, pretty obviously, he placed way too much emphasis on the offensive side of the ball with little or no regard for defense and rebounding.  I was convinced that his 2 year contract would make him look for quick fixes to placate the fans.  Instead, I have to applaud him because he has, for the first time in Toronto, demonstrated to me that he actually has a rebuild plan and will stick with it.  That is demonstrated by all of the moves he has made in the last year (from the drafting of Ed Davis, firing of Triano, hiring of Casey (to change the culture and focus of this team), refusal to use the trade exception to take a veteran player who will help the team in the very short term. 

    His hiring of Casey and drafting of Davis and now Valuncianas make it clear he now understands that he needs to do a full rebuild with a team focused on defense and rebounding. 

    I have been so pessimistic about this team in the last year but I am actually optimistic for the first team in quite some time.  I can actually see the framework for this team getting better (with players like Ed Davis, Derozan, Valuncianas, next year’s draft pick, etc.) and that doesn’t include significant trade chips which Colangelo now has in Bargnani and/or Amir Johnson, and the cap space (both current and the space that will be created if Barbosa leaves, when Calderon is either traded or not re-signed, etc.). 

    • Downbythesea

      You just said it all. Way to go. I’m 100% with you!!! People have to get their heads out of the sand we have a center and will get another top 10? next year I;m a happy camper!!

      • POINTS

        Top 10 pick next year,i don’t think so our star will be in beast mode next season after playing all summer ready to lead his team like dirk

    • arsenalist

      I am admitting an ignorance towards this pick.  You cannot hate this pick and you cannot love this pick, so I disagree with both sides of the argument, the one that we drafted a bust and the one that we drafted a great fit as you are suggesting.  We have drafted an unknown who has relatively speaking, done well in Euroleague.  You cannot extrapolate anything from that, nothing!

      Where am I Eurobashing?! I posted a direct quote from Colangelo from five years ago and one from yesterday, and suggested that the skepticism around this pick is not hard to understand.  Am I wrong in that?

      And you are reaching big time in the part where you talk about the problems with Irving, Kanter and Williams.  You criticizing those players based on flimsy evidence is just as bad as the Eurobashers crapping on Valanciunas before he’s even touched a NBA basketball.

      I am not in favor of abandoning the rebuild, I just felt that there was more to be had in this draft than a long-term project who will likely not even pay true dividends till year 5 (Colangelo’s thoughts, not mine).  If you ask my opinion, I think Charlotte and Cho won this baby by adding great toughness at two positions, including a winner in Walker.

      • big-time agree.  have to wait & see.  i have a much easier time with this pick given the pending lockout…JV will get a chance to keep playing & not worry about getting paid.  my only caveat to that is i’m skeptical with how bigs ‘develop’ in the euroleague.

        FWIW – i think wash made out like fucking bandits in this draft.  regardless of what anyone thinks of vesely, on that team…wall getting out on the break with vesely & javale filling the lanes.  yikes.  getting the best defender in the draft (singleton) & what could be a great dark-horse backup PG (mack) is impressive.

        • Jan Vesely, the dunking ninja. I was all upset when we were originally supposed to be picking him in Chad’s early mocks, and fell in love as I researched him. Guy has a motor that just doesn’t stop, and man does he posterize people in Europe. Wall to Vesely is something I predict we’re gonna be hearing for years, and I feel sort of sad we missed out.

          • POINTS

            he will be posterize in the NBA niggas lickin their chops when playing raps trust me

        • vino

          Agree with the wizards comment. I also liked what the spurs did. Came out of nowhere to cherry pick Leonard. This article suggest they had their eyes on Cory Joseph all along:

          San Antonio has an amazing talent hunting team. Something we need to develop ASAP!

      • John

        Arsenalist, I wasn’t trying to suggest you were Euro bashing – only that the widespread casual fan criticism of this pick seems to be based on Euro bashing (given the fans understandable general distaste and dislike for Bargnani’s game). 

        All of the picks have some skepticism and in my opinion they are all projects to one degree or another and very few players in this draft will have any immediate significant impact.

        As for the comments I made about Irving, Williams and Kanter, I’m not suggesting that Valuncianas will be a better player – only that all players (especially in this draft) have question marks.  Even the guys at ESPN acknowledged that about all of the players and said that the top guys have the potential to be allstars but unlike other drafts, who really knows.

        The only point I would make is that despite knowing that he would get criticized for this pick – Colangelo took the guy he thinks is the best talent at #5 and the best fit for this team.  I give him credit for that.

        None of us are experts but if we go based on what most draft pundits were saying then Valuncianas is a top 5 pick and I’m convinced that a large majority of GMs in the league would have taken Valuncianas at #5 based on the players that were available at that pick.  In fact, there were all kinds of rumours that San Antonio (one of the best run organizations) wanted to move up into the top 10 to draft Valuncianas.

      • OneLuv

        I agree with John; the experts all seem to agree that JV is a top 5 talent, so the argument is not whether he has talent, but it’s when will he bring his talent to TO.  Added to that, he was the best talent available at the 5, and he fits the most pressing need of the Raptors. The “5 years to develop” thing is talking about reaching full potential, but we heard Casey saying he thinks JV can come in a play right away, he has the skills but not the strength. Looking at his stats he is bigger than Chandler and Noah – so maybe “weak” might be a better description than “skinny.” If he does turn out to be another Chandler or Noah, I think the Raptors fans would be a lot happier than if BC had drafted another Bayliss or Flynn.

        • vino

          Val will never be another Chandler or Noah; he’s totally different breed. Much higher basketball I/Q – able to naturally, instinctively do more things better. All Lithuanian players are born with that, especially big men. No doubt he’s a better shooter than both these guys from 10-15 feet already. I see him growing into our big Z; hopefully without the injuries. If he’s able to grow physically and bang down low – its a bonus!

      • onemanweave

        By all reports the Euro league is tougher than the NCAA.  Should we discount everything that American collegiate players accomplish because the level of competition is inferior to the NBA?
            There are few sure things in drafting and certainly none in this draft.  Yes we will have to wait to see how JV pans out.  That goes for anyone else they’d have picked.

    • RaptorsBeliever

      Well Said!

      Because of your comments I actually registered! lol

      All this hate for a guy people havent even seen. BC’s finally building a team here. This guy has the exact same body as Tyson Chandler and is infact a few lbs heavier. Plus he can shoot some mid range. I dont know about you guys but that is definitely something id draft with the first pick.

    • POINTS

      “a smart GM would never listen to what the fans want” cause they aren’t the ones buying the tickets. BCs plan is just sell the ticket cheaper people will show up,no matter what the product looks like, then we wonder why players leave.

           don’t forget raptors starting 5 t-shirts at ESPN MARVEL COVERS

  • Tinman

    The best move to make. I think it is understood that he will not play in the NBA next season and that is actually best for both parties. 
    He gets a year to develope and work on his game, who knows maybe grow an inch or two and gain 20 pounds, and the Raptors allow new coach Casey to start fresh with basically the same core from last season. Expect some hurt feelings and some rough stretches.

    I am in it for the long haul and am pleased that after last night the Raptors odds of having a low lottery pick next season got better last night.
    I credit Colangelo for doing whats best for the team. Do not expect any trades adding immediate help. Say goodbye to Barbosa because he does not fit our rebuilding plans.
    Give Casey time to do his own evaluating. Bargnani ain’t going nowhere, except maybe Casey’s doghouse. Tough love.  Accept Jose as an overpaid backup. This is Bayless’s only chance of earning the starting PG role.
    Otherwise we grab him in next year’s lottery.

  • Star_bury

    Maybe leaving Jonas in Europe for another year is a genius move. Tank this year and get a top pick next year and suddenly we’ve got two stud rookies joining at the same time…

    • vino

       and add a stud free agent at the same time!

  • Raptor Jesus

    Herp a derp not true point guard, undersized, fulfills potential.

    Half wits proclaiming weaknesses for proven NCAA talent while drooling over future promise from a Lithuanian J league toothpick benchwarmer.

  • Raptors4Ever

    “As much as Colangelo is hyping his pick up by saying how his phone is bursting with congratulatory text messages,”

    God Bless BC . His tricks are working and fans are eating it up. Val can be Dakro Milic 2.0 who could not come to the league for another year or two.

    This team needed more assurance and there was plenty on the board. It took some Raptor fans about 5 years to understand AB and his short comings and … In few years they will feel the same way about Val.

    That all being said Val might turn up to be decent ( he will never be an ALL-STAR or a Dominate Force or …) in future but still, Raptors could have sealed the deal on their BAck court this draft and moved on.

    • vino

      “It took some Raptor fans about 5 years to understand AB and his short comings”
      It took some basketball fans to realize AB is garbage after a handful of games in his rookie year…

  • Kevin Oppella

    I’m surprised people are so frustrated with this pick. The only reason this guy was projected around the 4th position is because of his buyout. If not he would have probably been slated for the 2 or 3 spot in the draft. I was very skeptical that a small market like Cleveland wanted to fork-up the 500K to put towards getting Valanciunas over here and its kinda funny how they went with a much much cheaper alternative, a Canadian.

    Yes, I agree with fans in that we absolutely NEED a point guard but lets be honest. There are tons of them out there and there will be no shortage of then in trades, free agency and next years draft. One thing that is becoming rare is a player who is a trained or “natural” centre which just happens to be a position we need to fill. So why not take advantage of filling it with a natural centre while you can? Yes there has been a lot of euro busts BUT there have been tons of North American busts too.

  • NH

    It was nice meeting you yesterday at the RR draft party A, I was shocked with the Jonas pick yesterday but I feel better about it today.  Better to grow a C then overpay for one.  No need to be upset about Corey Joseph though; sure he is a hometown kid, but he is nothing special man; same career path as Denham Brown.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Isn’t the NBDL for development & project players?

  • Kevin

    I’m 100% with Arsenalist, BC is talking about instant gratification for the fans we want ANY gratification.  I don’t know much about this kid apart from what I’ve read from multiple sport outlets and Youtube videos.  But what I do know is a Bayless and Calderon backcourt isn’t going to get ANYTHING done and we had the chance to pick between two in my opinion pretty damn good point guards.  According to Tim Micallef!/tim_micallef BC had no intentions of taking a point guard…

    • JW

      We have a new coach, before we banish Jose and Bayless to nomans land, lets see how they fit in to the new system.  We can always make a trade.

  • While I wanted Kanter, there was no way he was going to fall to 5, and Valanciunas was my second choice at that spot. Of course, I didn’t think he’d fall to 5, either, so I’m extremely happy about this draft.  Cleveland drafting Tristan Thompson at 4 made me happy for several reasons.

    Also, I had Cory Joseph as one of my sleepers, and the Spurs drafting him actually didn’t surprise me.

    Anyone who wants to read my full draft report card can do so here:

  • James

    “Raptors fans turning their back on Europe as a source of talent seems ill-timed considering the performance Germany’s Dirk Nowitzki put on in leading the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA championship earlier this month. Spain’s Pau Gasol may be mercurial and worldly and Euro, but that hasn’t stopped him from earning two championships with the Los Angeles Lakers”

    This is what an sport writer in this town thinks !!! Just because you have Dirk and Paul then another European should be fine.
    Based on this logic AB’s pick was a great one as well. 

    This town deserves this GM and this Fiasco after all. By the way, How many years was Marc Gasol Playing in Europe before he came to NA and what was his numbrs ?

  • Checkines

    You can’t make the Corey Joseph case. Everyone, every site had him rated as a 2nd rounder, who should have waited another year. So in all aspects it could be considered a reach. Who knows if he goes in the 2nd round, Colangelo buys a 2nd rounder like he did last year for Alabi. Joseph could turn out well, but at this point, and for the next few years, I’d rather James Johnson

    • arsenalist

      The fact that San Antonio took him makes this a point of discussion.  

      • Checkines

        The fact that SA wanted to trade up to take Jonas says something too. 

        • POINTS

          SA could take Joey G and me him look like a star for real

          • Nilanka15

            lol, agreed to a certain extent.  People always praise San Antonio for their incredible scouting, but completely ignores the effect of their player development system.  If Darko was picked by the the Spurs, he might be a superstar today.  If DeJuan Blair was picked by the Raptors, he might not be any better than Soloman Alabi.

            • mountio

              Agreed. Player development and perhaps more importantly (you may have been wrapping this in player development), the teamates that these guys get to play and practice with.


    raptors starting five t-shirt for sale $5.25

        goto espn marvel covers

  • Frank

    I am curious to know this as well. Maybe Tom Liston or Arsenalist can put a comparison of stats for Val with the following players when they used to play in Euope:

    1) Dirk
    2) Paul Gasol
    3) Mark Gasol
    4) AB
    5) Kleiza
    6) Darko
    7) Scolla
    8) Splitter

    and see how Val stacks up in comparison to some of these names and if he is a Darko or AB or Gasol type of player 🙂

    • LAvi

      can we add to this list Biedrins as well ??

    • sauce jr.

      and Primoz

      • Frank

        Right, Tottaly forgot about Primoz 🙂

    • Some comps per 40 minutes on Euroleague last season Jonas average 20.4 points and 14.6 rebounds.

      On their final Euroleague season this players did
      AB – 20.7-7.8
      Pau Gasol 28.8-9.4
      Marc Gasol (on Eurocup) – 20.1-9
      Luis Scola 23.4-8.9
      Tiago Splitter 19.3-8.2 (22.3-9 in his next to last year)
      Kleiza – 22.6-8.6

      Dirk, Darko and Biedrins never played in high level on Europe before coming to US.

      A few others just for fun
      Memo Okur – 19.3-10.4
      Primoz Brezec 19.9-9.4
      David Andersen 21.1-7.9
      Nikola Pekovic 26.9-6.5
      Omer Asik 15.8-10.7
      Rasho Nesterovic 21-10.4

      So Jonas rebounding is easier the best by wide margin (almost double Bargnani’s) and the scoring helds around the average.

  • OneLuv

    Here is a link on Valanciunas.  Please read the December 26, 2010 article by Jonathan Givony and see how he compares his game to Kanter:

  • golden

    I’m OK with the Jonas pick.  The extreme fan negativity is really a backlash against BC, Bargs & Maurizio to some extent.  Assuming we had drafted Lamarcus Aldridge in 2006, I’d bet that fans would be neutral to happy with the pick.   The message to BC:  Bargs has to go. 

    100% agree on Corey Joseph.  I’m ok with JJ, but I would have rather have kept the pick.  Sucks that we could have had Joseph.  He is almost a lock to be a solid rotation player, learning under Popovich.  Good for him.

  • hateslosing

    “The high-risk-high-reward game must be fun to play, but I prefer the safer picks like Ed Davis and DeMar DeRozan, who can help you sooner than later, and keep the fans interested.”

    I don’t see how either of those picks were safer than this. Ed Davis was coming off a season where he was injured for most of the year when we drafted him and Demar was basically an athletic kid that happened to play basketball. Both of them had just as much if not more bust potential than Jonas does and I would go so far as to say that if Jonas came over next season he would be a better player than either of them were in their rookie seasons. You don’t need to be a tank to be a good offensive rebounder or finish the pick and roll and those are Jonas’ best skills right now.
    I really dislike the way people are comparing this to the Bargs pick. If Jonas was named Frank and was from LA everyone would be talking about how awesome it is that we got a 7 footer with a high motor. I don’t see how the fact that he is from Lituania makes him in any way similar to Bargs or how anyone is thinking this is a similar pick.  

    • arsenalist

      Ed Davis was a projected top five pick the year before with a couple years at North Carolina under his belt, and a good attitude.  He was about as safe as they come.  DeMar DeRozan filled an immediate need for athleticism and contributed right away by starting on a team that was aiming for contention (sure, they failed but doesn’t change the fact that coaches felt DD was good enough now).

    • Thrugrit

      “I would go so far as to say that if Jonas came over next season he would
      be a better player than either of them were in their rookie seasons.” FACEPALM. Hopes hopes hopes I like JV but puhlease wait till he plays

    • Mike

      IMO ED Davis and Derozan has higher ceiling,  Jonas has bust written all over him, history tells us that overseas lottery bigman usually don’t pan out unless they have a unique skill set like Dirk and Pau…remember the likes of Aleksander Radojevic, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Darko Milicic, Fran Vazquez (may never come to the nba), Saer Sene, Yi Jianlian (book is still out on him)..notice anything in common here, all of these guys had the same upside as Jonas has now. It’s not bashing the Euro’s but looking at the want a player that can do something in at least years 2, 3,4..and not wait five years down the road.

      • Nilanka15

        But for every European bust, there have been a million more American busts. 

        Did Valanciunas play for the same team, same coach, same teammates, against the same competition, train using the same methods, eat the same food, share the same genetic makeup, etc. of any of the players you named above?  Then how can there be any correlation between their failures and Valanciunas’ career?

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

          Because there are more American players to select from- duh.

          No one said that US players can’t be busts- Sam Bowie?

          Break it down based on percentages thereof then get back at me.

          • Nilanka15

            If you’re suggesting there’s a higher percentage of European busts compared to American busts, I’d like to see those stats, cuz I ain’t buying it otherwise.

  • Thrugrit

    If BC tried to pair AB to VA and it fail big time. Might aswell trade Big ED and DD right now before they go through free agency. 

  • Smiley


    • Frank

      Dream On….. 
      This is EURONTO Raptors man. 

    • POINTS

      are you messing with my t-shirt bus. espn marvel covers

  • anon_e_moose

    in euroleague play,Valanciunas-20.4 pts per 40min, 14.5 reb per 40 min, 1.7 blk per 40 min
    Biyombo-15.0 pts per 40 min, 11.9 reb per 40 min, 5.4 blk per 40 min
    Marc Gasol-20.1 pts per 40 min, 9.0 reb per 40 min, 2.0 blk per 40 min
    Bargnani- 20.7 pts per 40 min, 7.8 reb per 40 min, 1.8 blk per 40 min
    Mehmet Okur-17.8 pts per 40 min, 9.7 reb per 40 min, 1.2 blk per 40 minThese are some of the advanced metrics Colangelo looked at.Source:

  • Smiley

    Demar just twitted “A goal without a plan is just a wish” I can smell that he wants out with this Bullchit euro league. 

    • Frank

      Wow, Did he really say that ??

      “A Goal without a plan is just a wish”

      Wow 🙂 🙂 The poor kid was probably dreaming about playing along side Knight and Kemba and how they will tighten up the defense and be running the fast breaks and  NOW 🙂 Wow

      • Kevin

        Poor kid also knows he’s going to be in for 2-3 more season’s of absolutely terrible basketball.  One of the most humble and hard working players in the league he deserves better.

    • Nilanka15

      That’s a very vague comment.  We can’t assume that everything DeMar tweets is about the Toronto Raptors.  It could be concerning a crossword puzzle he’s struggling with 😛

    • arsenalist
      • Smiley

        If you rather trade demar than bargnani, you must be out of your dumbass mind. toronto is cursed.

        • yertu damkule

          did i miss something?

          DD’s tweet was, IMO, more about setting goals (and planning for them) for himself.  he’s a gym rat, right?  to me, this is about him putting something down to remind him to keep working to improve.  fuck, people on here like to create negativity.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      I recall that DD was talking up Kemba before the draft, correct me if I’m wrong?

      • POINTS

        Now i know where he’s going after toronto to join the great MJ

  • Scruffz

    “The Raptors flipped the 27th pick for James Johnson, and would have had a clear shot at Joseph, which would have been a PR victory, and instantly increased the waning interest in this team.”

    Because I’m sure the Raptors really thought about Cory Joseph last season while they were deciding whether to trade for Johnson or not?

    • arsenalist

      Not the point.  What the point is that you can’t under-value first round picks because you never know what you’re going to pick up.  When Johnson was acquired, BC sold everyone on the theory that you can’t find anyone as good as Johnson at that point in the first round.  The same message was then hammered home by Matt Devlin and Leo Rautins for the next four months.  

      • jimmie

        Let’s chill on Cory Joseph until he plays, how bout that? Yes, SA picked him and they generally have a nose for talent and develop it well. But to say he’s going to be better than James Johnson is a bit speculative, no? Weak argument against the trade, for sure.

        • Theswirsky

          agree.  You often find me complimenting BC, but there was nothing wrong with that late 1st round for Johnson deal.

          All last year it was “this draft is so bad”, then draft day happens and everyone in the first round is suddenly a talent. 

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

            BC could have potentially used that #28 pick as bait for a team looking to move down in the draft and potentially grabbed a player like KLeonard at #15.

            JJ didn’t add anything special to the Rap’s last season that equated to winning more games post acquisition.

            • Scruffz

              He played 25 games, which were the most significant minutes of his young career. he wasn’t brought in to add 10 wins to the Raptors season right away.

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

          PG Norris Cole was taken #28 by the Heat- with the very same draft pick they traded to the Rap’s in the CB S&T deal- Riley schools BC again!!lmfao

          • yertu damkule

            as with joseph, let’s see how cole does in the nba before proclaiming anything.  joseph & cole are complete unknowns, and are much more likely to amount to ABSOLUTELY FUCK-ALL in the NBA.  shit, JJ may turn out to be nothing more than he has been…but to say that picks in the late 20’s of an HISTORICALLY PUTRID DRAFT have some kind of inherent value is simply ridiculous.

            • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

              Norris Cole is a str8 up baller he will fit in nicely on Miami coming off of the bench.

              Both Joseph & Cole are very well known to those who follow both US HS & NCAA basketball.

              Norris Cole is a steal at #28, trust.

              Time is the truth maker!

      • Quirk

        I see, so you’re logic is that because SA picked 28, and SA *always* picks someone good, that therefore the Raptors could have picked that same player at 27, presumable knowing that SA would pick him, and that they are thereby guaranteed to be good. SA did not pick James Johnson, who must therefore be not as good. Is that it? Impeccable! But wait! If the Raptors did keep their pick, and did pick Cory Joseph, apparently knowing SA would (while keeping this fact from Dallas at 26), the just like James Johnson, Cory Joseph would not have been picked by SA and SA would still have picked someone at 28, and that someone is who you presumable would believe is guaranteed to be good by virtue of being picked by SA, and therefor much better than Joseph, who wasn’t picked by SA, but by Toronto. No doubt your blog instead would have slammed BC for reaching and taking a pick at 27 nobody was even projecting in the first round! Obviously chosen for nationality marketing and not basketball skills! smh. Arsenalist, I like a lot of your stuff, but even you must realize this is one of the worst articles posted on this site in ages, and that is conclusive.

  • anon_e_moose

    Scola-23.4 pts per 40, 8.9 reb per 40, 0.5 blk per 40
    Splitter-19.5 pts per 40, 8.2 reb per 40, 0.8 blk per 40
    Kleiza- 22.6 pts per 40, 8.6 reb per 40, 0.2 blk per 40
    David Andersen-21.1 pts per 40, 7.9 reb per 40, 1.1 blk per 40
    Nesterovic(2010-2011)-20.1 pts per 40, 10.4 reb per 40, 1.9 blk per 40
    Yiannis Bouroussis(2010-11)-24.6 pts per 40, 15.0 reb per 40, 3.1 blk per 40
    Ante Tomic(2010-11)-18.8 pts per 40, 10.1 reb per 40, 1.1 blk per 40

    stats from each players last year in the euroleague

    • Mike

      Rasho killing it in the Euro league…per 40 mins…Yiannis will be a Raptor just wait and see!

      • Kevin

        I see a lot of Rasho in this Val kid a lot of Primo Brezec as well oh man no wonder you guys are all so excited about this pick.

  • Scruffz

    ” Jonas has bust written all over him, history tells us that overseas lottery bigman usually don’t pan out unless they have a unique skill set like Dirk and Pau…”

    Sam Bowie, Kwame Brown, Shawn Bradley, Jonathan Bender, Joe Smith, Stromile Swift, Marcus Fizer.

    Pretty sure they’re all American, no?

    • Nilanka15

      Michael Olowakandi, Tyrus Thomas, Bryant Reeves, Lorenzen Wright, Robert Traylor, Eddy Curry, Michael Sweetney, Sean May, Shelden Williams, Patrick O’Bryant, Jordan Hill, etc.

      • yertu damkule

        i wouldn’t give up on hill just yet.

      • Bendit

        Robert Traylor was traded for someone named Dirk Novitzki on draft day I believe.

  • Rpsfan95

    I think this guy will be a starting Center in the league and I don’t want to judge this guy in any way until he has a chance,

    but BC is a living joke, to start thinking long term now, but you just HAD to have JJ at the deadline  instead of keeping that pick,

    and now watch him sign free agents that will put us out of decent draft range next year

    • Scruffz

      What’s the point of keeping the pick when this draft class was weak to begin with? BC even said that they were targeting Johnson had they not been able to draft DeMar.

      • Rpsfan95

        we essentially traded a guy that Popvich wants for a guy that Thibodeau doesn’t want, and you could argue that playing JJ made us better, giving us a worse pick, instead of throwing julian wright out there and keeping our options open

        • Nilanka15

          I still think J.Johnson is better than any player picked in the late 1st round…and he’s only getting better. 

          • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

            The Heat drafted PG Norris Cole at #28 (in a trade w/ Chicago) so time will tell.

            Btw- the Heat re-acquired the very draft pick that they sent to the Rap’s in the CB S&T- imagine that BC loses again to Riley.lmfao

            • Nilanka15

              I wouldn’t be surprised if we never hear Cole’s name mentioned again.

              • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

                He’s on the Heat- he will be well known (more well known than JJohnson)-

          • Scruffz

            At the time of the trade BC said that they were targeting JJ had they not got DeMar.

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      BC is full of chit PR spinning every Raptors related story as he sees fit, and people still trust this privileged lying ass Ivy League con man.

    • POINTS

      We already picked up a championship coach does he win more games than Jay or less.

  • AwesomeGuest

    I can’t believe I was on-the-fence about this pick. After reading his scouting report and draft profile and after knowing that the Spurs and Rockets wanted to move up specifically just to grab Val, I feel super confident that he’s going to be a very good player. I mean come on, the SPURS WANTED HIM. That should say enough.

    • Frank

      Yes, Spurs got Splitter too but they let the guy develop in Europe for many years. They have a different way of bringing up their International bigs and their system works, because they have a great core already. They have identity, they have leadership and they just add piece by piece making the best of their money and draft.

  • 95-2-Life

    Understandably people are frustrated with the Raptors high percentage of white European players and international players and BC gets a lot more slack for those moves than he totally deserves (dis)credit for (Remember Rob Babcock). True, Bargnani is a bust, Calderon is slow and getting old and is much better suited to be a back-up/6th man type like he was a few years ago, Kleiza and Barbosa are mere complementary players and Turgolu was a mistake that 2 other teams have made since the Raptors signed him 2 years ago. But the raptors have added the type of players that most people complain we don’t have in guys like Amir Johnson, Demar Derozan and Ed Davis. The fact that we drafted a European centre should not be criticized, for every Darko and Bargnani, there is a Dirk, Sabonis and Vlade Divac, who were or still are game changing players on playoff teams which surprise surprise had other key contributing international players (i.e Peja Stojakovich). Don’t get me wrong, I have not been the strongest supporter of all the international players, and was personally shocked and a bit disappointed when Brandon Knight’s name wasn’t called at 5, but after really thinking it through, people who are not a fan of this pick or who havn’t gotten past the accent and the skin colour are just letting Bargnani ruin another thing.Valanculas could be a bust…Or he can turn out to be a star, who knows, the books still open on him as it is with Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight, none have played an NBA game. Remember in 1998, guys like Vince Carter, Mike Bibby, Larry Hughes and Jason Williams were all taken in the top 10, but Dirk is the one whose going to have a plaque in Springfield. 

  • Mike

    From what i’ve read so far it’s either star or bust for Jonas, no inbetween…kinda unfair for the kid that has never played a game in the NBA. I would have liked the Raps to have gotten a complimentary player, someone that could be DD’s sidekick, someone that can contribute a little bit in years 1 and more in 2,3, 4 and not a total project. Dirk, Sabonis, and Pau are once in a generation type players…in the last ten years there haven’t been many Euro bigmen that have made an impact.

    • Mike

      *drafted Eurobig men in the last ten years to make an impact.

  • Bukowski

    We had the No. 5 pick in a historically weak draft. And everyone expected a superstar? Raptors took a chance on an international big man in Araujo and it busted. They took a chance on another international big man in Bargnani and have been disappointed. Maybe this one will work. If Irving had been available and they drafted JV, I’d be upset but he wasn’t available. IMO with a pick like the raptors it is better to take a high-risk shot at a star in a hard-to-fill position, then draft more decent-to-average guards or forwards who are a dime a dozen in this league 

    • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!

      Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me- a 3rd time I can’t call it!lol

      • Bukowski

        or maybe another alternative bit of homespun wisdom: Third time’s a charm. Basically, if this pick means they plan to move Bargnani in the coming year and replace him with JV – who apparently will be arriving in 2012 – I like this pick. If they plan to keep them both long term, and shunt poor Ed Davis out of the picture, then I don’t like this pick. I know Casey said all those positive things about Bargnani in his presser, but I think he had to do that and it is not necessarily a sign of the Raptors’ long-term commitment to Bargnani.  A positive aspect of this pick is that his delayed arrival means no help for the Raptors next year and a likely high lottery pick in a very strong draft. 

        • BCGheradiniJayGots2Go!!!


          Time will tell.

          But if Amir or Ed is traded away before Barg’s- I’m not with that.

          Btw- Val will be in the TDot for the 2012-13 season as per Draftexpress a buyout has been reached.

        • POINTS

          high lottery pick! buddy we got a championship coach we better see some W or he’ll be out the door not by BC but by the fans

  • santimo

    I think a lot of people are over-valuing the players in the draft this year. Knight and Walker will be good players but they’re not going to be all-stars. When I think of Kemba Walker I think of Ty Lawson, Brandon Knight to me is like a Jrue Holiday. I compare JV to Marc Gasol . Now out of all those three comparisons who would you want the most? To me it’s clear: I’d want the guy like Marc Gasol.

    • POINTS


  • John

    Arsenalist, would you have suggested that the drafting of Knight was “inconclusive” – given he’s only 19 and hasn’t played yet in the NBA and isn’t at, least at this point, a PG?  Or would you have given BC a grade of an A or B because he was the type of player you thought they should draft?  The fact is that nobody knows how any of these players will end up for at least several years.

  • Since you brought up the 2006 draft, who exactly in that draft would you have rather taken than Bargnani?

    Brandon Roy?  Injuries have all but forced his retirement, merely five years into his career.
    Rudy Gay?  Probably worth about the same as Bargnani at this point.  Possibly less.

    Feel free to keep naming names.  The only person in that draft that I think clearly turned out better than Bargnani is LaMarcus Aldridge (the guy in that draft I wanted, though admittedly there’s no way to prove that now), and it’s close enough that I bet someone would actually challenge me on whether Aldridge is clearly better than Bargnani.

    Point being, Bargnani was (virtually) the best player available, for better or worse.  Five years from now Jonas may prove to have been the best player available.  He might still suck, but he may end up being the best player available.

    • yertu damkule

      so, uh…did you answer your own rhetorical question (i.e. aldridge)?

      despite his contract, i’m not sure you’ll find anyone with a functioning brain who would argue that gay is not a better basketball player than bargnani (though direct comparisons are difficult, given their respective positions).

      • POINTS

        remember we had bosh at the time so you can’t really tell how it would turnout bosh/gay

      • Nilanka15

        Gay and Aldridge are both hands down better than Bargnani today.  But I can’t say Bargnani was a bad pick when he was drafted.  It’s just that he hasn’t panned out, and for some reason, our stubborn GM hasn’t clued into that fact yet.

        • Fuckeuros

          yeah,he only signed him to a reasonable contract and tried to make him a piece…..u stupid basturd.

          • Nilanka15

            Reasonable contract???  Hilarious!