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Thread: Chisholm: Lets be patient with JV

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Default Chisholm: Lets be patient with JV

    File this under:

    'Things that shouldn't need to be said but are because Raptors fans are generally neurotic'


    It's hard to encounter anyone who has watched Valanciunas this summer who has not come away impressed by the ultra-aggressive seven-footer. While he still has a lot of growing up to do as a basketball player, if he can capitalize on his limitless promise, the Toronto Raptors may have just found their future franchise player.

    However, as promising as things look today, this summer's tournament is a stark reminder of just how quickly such promising starts can turn into middling futures. All one has to do is tune in to watch Spain play in the EuroBasket tournament and see how far Ricky Rubio's stock has dropped since being selected fifth overall just two years ago.

    At the EuroBasket tournament in Poland in 2009, the recently-drafted Ricky Rubio was in the exact same position as Valanciunas was this summer, the attraction everyone was lining up to see. While followers of international basketball were well aware of him (especially after his play in the 2008 Olympic Games), for many it was the first opportunity for them to sit up and take notice of the flamboyant Spanish point guard.

    At the time, in fact, he had many claiming he was the Next Great Point Guard because of his deft passing skills and advanced court vision. He put up strong numbers that summer, including 3.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game in just 22.7 minutes per game, starting in place of the injured Jose Calderon, and it looked like the sky was the limit for Rubio, who was to spend two more years in Spain before coming over to join the Wolves (which he did this summer).

    Since 2009, though, things haven't worked out exactly as Rubio's supporters had expected. While his passing and court vision are still marvelous assets, Rubio has struggled to improve in other areas of the game, namely his ability to score the ball. Rubio is a wretched shooter, and because of that, his opponents have taken to playing off of him and cutting off his passing lanes, making him a significantly lessened threat at the point of attack. FC Barcelona, his team for the last two years, even took the one-time prodigy out of the starting lineup because his plusses simply couldn't outweigh the minuses of his game-to-game liabilities.

    While he still has all of the same "upside" that he had when he was drafted ahead of Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan and Brandon Jennings, he also has many people wondering if he's ever going to capitalize on all of that potential given how little growth he's shown since draft night. It's a question that now faces Valanciunas as he begins his new life in the spotlight.

    This much we know: next summer, Valanciunas will officially be a signed-and-delivered Toronto Raptor. Unlike Rubio, he will only be playing a single season in Europe (for Lietuvos Rytas) before coming to the NBA, and also unlike Rubio he'll be with the same team he was with before the draft (Rubio switched to the much higher regarded FC Barcelona in 2009). However, like Rubio he'll be wearing a huge target on his back when he goes back to play his upcoming season, with opponents likely to try and target him now that's considered such an elite NBA prospect. Also, there will be far greater scrutiny over his game, both within the team and outside of it, a factor that some say wreaked emotional havoc with Rubio as the critics piled on to his lack of improvement in shooting, even perhaps to the detriment of his development.

    Sudden expectations can be a cruel thing. While in the AAU and NCAA universes, such expectations are laid on kids at 12 or 13 but the same timelines are not always as severe with European prospects. While that is probably for the best in many regards, the sudden overwhelming burden of increased expectations is still a lot to bear for any 19-or-20-year-old prospect.

    Now, no one is saying that Valanciunas and Rubio have anything more in common than the most superficial elements to their situations. Nor is anyone saying that the same pitfalls even exist for one because they existed for the other. Rather, all one has to consider is that, like Rubio, Valanciunas is as intriguing now because of his potential as he is because of his current talent. Sometimes people can run away with their expectations of players based on the very nebulous idea of potential, and it would be prudent for Raptors fans to be cautious following such a track.

    Keep a close eye on Valanciunas this season in Lithuania, watch him actually play if you can, and let THAT be your guide for what you expect from him. Don't get too carried away with what he could be down the road - allow it to be a 'what if' scenario rather than a definite destination you demand that he reach.

    Opinions of Valanciunas have shifted rapidly in Toronto and Canada this summer, perhaps too rapidly, and it may be time to take a breath and remember that we're talking about a 19-year-old that is still developing his body and learning the nuances of the game of basketball. While he is undoubtedly the most intriguing talent the Raptors have had in their fold since they drafted Chris Bosh eight years ago, allow him to show you what he is going to become, rather than telling him what you expect him to become. Minnesota is receiving considerably less in Rubio than they thought they were getting after selling him as the future of their franchise two summers ago so try and allow Valanciunas to escape that same fate this year.
    http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/tim_chisholm/?id=375870

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    Raptors Republic Rookie AJM's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    File this under:


    Sudden expectations can be a cruel thing. While in the AAU and NCAA universes, such expectations are laid on kids at 12 or 13 but the same timelines are not always as severe with European prospects. While that is probably for the best in many regards, the sudden overwhelming burden of increased expectations is still a lot to bear for any 19-or-20-year-old prospect.



    http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/tim_chisholm/?id=375870
    He proved in U19 tournament that he has what it takes to lead a team and I don't think he'll have any problem doing it for Raptors. BTW we gave 4 years to Andrea to develop ( or not), so i don't see any reason we can't be patient with JV as well.

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    If anyone says the Raps need to wait 5 years for him to develop I'll likely barf

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    Raptors Republic Starter albertan_10's Avatar
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    Quote GarbageTime wrote: View Post
    If anyone says the Raps need to wait 5 years for him to develop I'll likely barf
    barf then. he will be better every year but it will take 5 years to see complete potential

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    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote albertan_10 wrote: View Post
    barf then. he will be better every year but it will take 5 years to see complete potential
    Unfortunately you are very correct, in my opinion.

    In 5 years he will have just turned 24.

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    Quote albertan_10 wrote: View Post
    barf then. he will be better every year but it will take 5 years to see complete potential
    I'd argue it will be closer to a decade before he ever reaches his "complete potential"... but that and having developed are hardly one and the same.

    3 seasons....

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    I'm with GT on this one.
    I think if he's going to be an 'Elite' level Center, then we will see Very Clear signs in his first year. ie in the running for ROY, but a few minor weaknesses in terms of size, is to be expected.

    Bargnani and was in the running for ROY, but there were already clear Major Holes in his game.
    I don't expect to see the same thing with JV.

    Yes bigs take longer to develop, but the good ones, come and get it. If he's going to be any good, we'll know it sooner rather than later.
    "I just dunked. Got a little dunk. Thatís nice." Terrence Ross

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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    I'm with GT on this one.
    I think if he's going to be an 'Elite' level Center, then we will see Very Clear signs in his first year. ie in the running for ROY, but a few minor weaknesses in terms of size, is to be expected.

    Bargnani and was in the running for ROY, but there were already clear Major Holes in his game.
    I don't expect to see the same thing with JV.

    Yes bigs take longer to develop, but the good ones, come and get it. If he's going to be any good, we'll know it sooner rather than later.
    that is exactly it.

    while there is no specific timeline for any one player, if you can't tell by the end of a 3rd year (1st year rookie mistakes, 2nd year sophmore slump/growing pains, 3rd year a player) its time to cut your losses.

    This 5 year rule for Cs was made up by GMs to cover their mistakes.... *cough*

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    Raptors Republic Veteran Bendit's Avatar
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    "Intriguing".

    Is it just me or has this become a much overused sports term going even beyond fence sitting on the skills of a young player. I have seen the term even used on Lebron and Wade as well as trades and the cba negotiations and the taste of Gatorade.

    Rant over.

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