So… Jonas Valanciunas is playing only 20 minutes a game now. Is it premature to say the writing is on the wall?
Demar: The writing is not only on the wall, it’s on his ceiling when he wakes up, it’s on his bath mat when he takes a shower and it’s in his alpha-bits cereal when he eats breakfast. Nobody likes talking about a player getting traded especially when they’re young, but the Raptors will need to make so hard decisions in the offseason.
The Velociraptors have four expiring contract on the books in Lowry, Patrick Patterson, P.J. Tucker and Serge Ibaka. They will be looking to re-sign most if not all of them, which means the luxury cap is going to become a factor.
Trading JV is the easiest way for the Raptors to get cap relief, but it’s hard to see who or what they trade him for. Big men who can defend but trudge around the court, aren’t really worth much these days and Masai Ujiri isn’t one to trade something for nothing.
A trade isn’t completely necessary though. MLSE expressed over and over that they’re willing to pay the luxury tax, but seeing is believing. When you’re paying more for your team than Dan Gilbert is, his brows will be furrowed.
Chris: I think so, but I’m very curious to see what the Raptors would get in return for him. Toronto faces a massive luxury tax crunch this summer and JV’s $16 million AAV makes him an ideal trade candidate, but when you consider the way the NBA has shifted away from using the traditional big man, and what players like Mason Plumlee and Nerlens Noel fetched in trades, I’m not sure how much JV is worth.
Players like Timofey Mozgov and Ian Mahinmi signed comparable deals to JV last offseason, and while they look like horrific contracts at this point, it does give you an idea of where the market value is for centres at this point. So does that help JV’s value in a trade? I’m not so sure.
I think he’s a scheme specific player who might not draw as much trade interest as we’re thinking he would. All things considered, though, he is the ideal player for the Raptors to trade this offseason.