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Thread: 2011 Draft Rumors & Discussion

  1. #2381
    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    ESPN Insider article on Jonas Valanciunas Potential in the NBA

    This is an NBA Draft that is devoid of big men, so Lithuania's 7-foot, 245 pound 19-year-old, Jonas Valanciunas, has a lot of interest from teams in the lottery. At his age, there is no doubting his intriguing potential, but expecting him to help a team right away is unrealistic.

    More critically for teams in position to select him is projecting where Valanciunas' game will be five years from now. It is not inconceivable to some NBA personnel that he could be the best player in this draft by then -- of course the risk is that the NBA executive that drafts him could be fired by then.

    Playing Background

    Valanciunas has played in virtually every major European junior tournament since he was 16 and he has been one of the continent's most prolific talents. In fact, he has been Europe's Under-16 MVP and its Under-18 MVP in two different summers. He plans to play for Lithuania's European Champions in July's Under-19 World Championships in Latvia. It will be his fifth straight summer representing his country.

    This past season, in his first full season in the Euroleague, Valanciunas averaged almost eight points and six rebounds in 15 minutes on 71 percent shooting from the field as an 18-year old. That doesn't sound like much, but only a handful of the Top 25 high school seniors in the United States could realistically accomplish that.


    Future Position

    Valanciunas may be the best, or more precisely, the only pure low post center at the top of this draft. While his long-time European rival, Enes Kanter, measured out at 6-foot-11 and 260 pounds, Kanter has the skill level play both inside and out and will likely be utilized that way. The young Lithuanian is going to spend most of his eventual NBA career within 10 feet of the rim.

    Athleticism

    I am a big fan of Valanciunas' athleticism for a young player his size. He runs the court well and jumps well. In addition, he has a reasonable quick second jump around the basket, making him a potentially effective offensive rebounder and shot blocker.

    His major drawback at the moment is his lack of NBA-level strength, balance and defensive acumen in the paint. In fact, many times this past season, Valanciunas was manhandled around the basket by older and more mature Euroleague post players. It is the single main reason it will be hard for him to log major minutes right away in the NBA.

    Skill Level

    While Valanciunas has tremendous offensive potential, it is based more on his athleticism than his skill level. Right now, he scores most of his points off energy plays like offensive rebounds, fast breaks and in the screen-and-roll game, where he gets a running start to the rim.

    His lack of strength doesn't allow him to get close enough to the basket to utilize any low post moves yet. And, his passing out of the post is average at this point. But, based on the fact that he is a near 90 percent free throw shooter this season, there is an expectation that an offensive game can be developed as he physically matures. That is critical because he shows, at this point, no propensity for playing on the perimeter.

    Attitude and Disposition

    Despite his lack of strength right now, Valanciunas is a competitor who did not back down this season as a teenager in a man's league. Even when he was getting beaten up, he played hard and with emotion and showed a mature disposition as he took his pounding. His motor runs at full throttle and he looks like he loves to play.

    Best Case Scenario: Pau Gasol

    There are athletic similarities between Gasol and Valanciunas but I emphasize here that this is a bestcase scenario. Both were highly successful at the European junior level as both won Under-18 European titles. And, both contributed at the highest level of European basketball as teenagers.

    Don't expect for Valanciunas to have the same impact as Gasol did in his rookie season. As the No. 3 pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, Gasol was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Then, as a 20-year old in his first NBA season, he went on to average 17 points and nine rebounds.

    If Valanciunas plays in the NBA this coming season, he will be one of the youngest players in the league at 19. However, with a potential lockout looming, it would not surprise me if the young Lithuanian spends another year honing his skills in Europe. While it won't make fans of the team that drafts him happy, it may be the best way for him to mirror what Gasol did in his rookie year.
    I like him better than Kanter plays hard all the time with huge motor. We could put him next to Barny or ED.
    @Chr1st1anL

  2. #2382
    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    While he's not my first choice (or second of third...) I could get behind Jonas. The general consensus seems to be at worst, he'll be a serviceable center for years to come. Not too shabby, especially considering how weak this draft is supposed to be.
    @jerboat

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  4. #2384
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    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    Breakdown on Kanters Game by Draftexpress

    Offense

    Looks good offensively




    Defense

    I don't think we can afford to put him next to Barny. Ed yes but, definitely no for Barny

    for more on this Kanter Breakdown read this article
    http://www.draftexpress.com/article/...s-Kanter-3743/
    The second video is nothing like what I've seen from him. In the Nike Summit game and the European game I saw he showed excellent rebounding skills and above average defensive skills. If this video is all you've seen from him, I can imagine you'd be hesitant about him. Watching it, it looked like when someone is playing against players who are well below their level, which is backed by this quote from the article:
    "He played against weak competition there, which was clearly not ideal for his development.

    From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com/article/...#ixzz1OkDcUhnl
    http://www.draftexpress.com"
    I still like Kanter and think he'd be a perfect frontcourt mate for Davis. He's obviously got a lot of room for growth, but for a guy who has played as little as he has, he's pretty damn polished, which tells me something about him.
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  5. #2385
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    Quote Chr1s1anL wrote: View Post
    ESPN Insider article on Jonas Valanciunas Potential in the NBA



    I like him better than Kanter plays hard all the time with huge motor. We could put him next to Barny or ED.
    I'd like him better than Kanter if he didn't have two rather major weaknesses. His penchant for fouling and his rather stone-like hands. Big men with bad hands can be a killer, and Valanciunas would average more than 7 fouls per game per 36 minutes. That's more than Amir at his worst. Taking a gamble on Amir wasn't a big deal because they gave up very little to get him. With Valanciunas you're gambling with a 5th pick in the draft. I'm not saying he'd be a bad pick, but I actually think Kanter is a safer pick, quite frankly.
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  6. #2386
    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Default Jimmer wants nothing to do with Bucks

    Jimmer Fredette has an invitation to work out for the Bucks but it's "doubtful" he will accept
    Perhaps the presence of 21-year-old Brandon Jennings as the Bucks starting point guard has something to do with Fredette's decision.

    Fredette recently told the Salt Lake Tribune, "It's all about longevity of the career. If you're in the wrong situation, even if you go high, your career can be cut really short and that's not what you want."
    Source: jsonline.com

    They have no business drafting a PG in the top ten anyway.

  7. #2387
    Raptors Republic Veteran ceez's Avatar
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    i wonder if jimmer really thinks hes going to start for anyone
    @jerboat

  8. #2388
    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    He must if he's telling the Bucks to stop bothering him.

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    Raptors Republic Starter jeff_hostetler's Avatar
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    People keep talking about Kanter vs. Valanciunas at the U-18s...I can't find a video of it anywhere. Anyone know where to find it? If it's already been posted, could you repost it (120 pages is about 110 pages too many to sort through given i'd have no idea where to begin)?

  10. #2390
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    Quote jeff_hostetler wrote: View Post
    People keep talking about Kanter vs. Valanciunas at the U-18s...I can't find a video of it anywhere. Anyone know where to find it? If it's already been posted, could you repost it (120 pages is about 110 pages too many to sort through given i'd have no idea where to begin)?
    You're just lazy!

    I don't think it's been posted here, because I have yet to see it myself. Apparently Jonathan Givony, at Draft Express, was able to get his hands on a copy of it, but I've yet to see even a highlight of that game, anywhere.
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    You're just lazy!

    I don't think it's been posted here, because I have yet to see it myself. Apparently Jonathan Givony, at Draft Express, was able to get his hands on a copy of it, but I've yet to see even a highlight of that game, anywhere.
    Doesn't Kanter kick his butt in that game? Can't remember.
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  12. #2392
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    Quote Employee wrote: View Post
    Doesn't Kanter kick his butt in that game? Can't remember.
    Apparently they've faced off a few times and apparently Kanter has gotten the better of him each time. This is what I've read numerous times, but have not seen it personally, unfortunately.
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  13. #2393
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    Couldn't find the video highlights, but found the box scores for two of their games:

    Game One:
    http://www.fibaeurope.com/cid_KNce8j...7.teamID_.html

    Kanter had a 22/12 while Jonas had a 20/5. But Jonas shot 7/8 from the field, and his team won.


    Game Two:
    http://www.fibaeurope.com/cid_KNce8j...7.teamID_.html

    Kanter had a monster game with a 35/19, while Jonas had a measly 14/5. Turkey won big time in that one.

  14. #2394
    Administrator Apollo's Avatar
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    Quote Tim W. wrote: View Post
    Apparently they've faced off a few times and apparently Kanter has gotten the better of him each time. This is what I've read numerous times, but have not seen it personally, unfortunately.
    The only thing about that is that Kanter is a "man child". It should not be used to discredit his abilities but it also shouldn't be used to knock Val's long term potential. If either of these guys land in Toronto I'll be fine with provided there is no Vasquez/Rubio contract situation...

  15. #2395
    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    Found highlights from the Euro U18 Bronze game (Lithuania vs Turkey). Highlights kind of suck, but here you go (cheerleaders are hot though ):


  16. #2396
    Raptors Republic Starter jeff_hostetler's Avatar
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    The post game interview....awesome.

    Thanks for posting the video and stats. The stats are interesting for sure. Anyone else thinking that the Republic isn't just one of the best Raptor sites, but one of the best NBA sites period? It may be Rap-centric, but the quality of discussion on all aspects of the league is strong all around.

    For example, the thread started a while back that posted all the combine interviews. I can't think of anywhere else - not even the draft sites themselves - that had them all posted, and in such an organized and collected manner.

    On a side note, I think I'm suffering from Draft Fatigue. At this point, given the minutiae that separate any of the picks the Raps seem likely to get, I'm just about ready to end all analysis and just wait to see what happens on draft day. Given Colangelo's excellent draft record, I'll likely be happy with whoever gets drafted (based purely on the fact that Colangelo will have liked him enough to draft him). Of course I still have my preferences, but we'll get who we get, and I'm sure it will be a good choice (from whatever options remain).

    That is, unless Utah drafts Brandon Knight. If Utah drafts Knight, I will seriously question why BC wasn't able to convince them to trade down with them.

  17. #2397
    Super Moderator MangoKid's Avatar
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    Default Kanter @ #1 spot?

    nbadraft.net seems to think so.

    In their latest mock, they've got

    1- Cleveland - Kanter
    2 - Minnesota -DWilliams
    3 - Utah - Irving
    4 - Cleveland - BKnight
    5 - Toronto - Vesely
    6 - Washington - Thompson
    7 - Sacramento - Walker

    That seems like pretty smart thinking on Cleveland's part. They get arguably the best bigman prospect plus a PG. Had they taken Irving at 1, there's no guarantee that Kanter would have been around at 4.

  18. #2398
    Raptors Republic Starter jeff_hostetler's Avatar
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    Yeah, I saw that. That would be an interesting move for sure, although it would be an extremely risky one.

    It would certainly turn the draft on its head.

  19. #2399
    Super Moderator MangoKid's Avatar
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    Question is.. if Irving is still around at 3, does Colangelo make a play with the Jazz to use the TPE on a roster player and trade up to snag Irving?

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    Utah has big interest in Knight (according to reports) due to a desire to strengthen their longterm lookout at PG. Knight is the second best PG prospect after Irving. They have not considered him due to the expectation that he would be gone by the time they pick. If Irving is still around,Utah would most likely take him unless another prospect wows them. I don't think it's possible for the Raptors to make a move with Utah if Irving available.

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