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Tag:Jonas Valanciunas
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:49 pm
 

Report: Raymond Felton rumors heating up

Posted by Matt Moore

So it's come to this for Raymond Felton. From underrated point guard in Charlotte, helping the Bobcats make their first playoff game, to heralded new York Knicks point guard of the future, to Carmelo Anthony trade bait, and now this. Shopped for a lousy draft pick in a lousy draft.

ESPN reports:
Would the Kings be willing to send the No. 7 pick to the Nuggets for Raymond Felton and the No. 22 pick? The Kings have had interest in Felton but it's probably going to take them giving up the No. 7 pick to get him. I wouldn't be shocked to see the Nuggets grab Jonas Valanciunas or Bismack Biyombo if they could get up to No. 7.
via Latest draft buzz: Kings' No. 7 for Felton? - TrueHoop Blog - ESPN.

When Felton landed in Denver, I was positive he was going to start. He'd been a starter for years, was a better defender than Lawson, and would pitch a fit if he was benched for such a young player. But credit to the Nuggets, they knew that Lawson was their guy going forward and they stuck with him. Now Felton wants out, and the Nuggets are happy to oblige him, especially if they can get another young asset to their army of young assets. The No. 7 pick isn't exactly a goldmine in this draft, they'll have a shot at a few high caliber prospects, though you'd have to question if Bismack Biyombo is really the kind of player they want to add to a team that needs substantial help down low besides Nene. The Nuggets would also be in a position of need for a backup point guard if this were to shake out.

Felton is a perfect fit in Sacramento, despite what will probably bum him out in being in a smaller market again, overshadowed by younger players who haven't been around as long. A starting 1-2-3-4 rotation of Felton, Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans at a combo 2-3 spot and DeMarcus Cousins gives the Kings a foundation going forward. They've needed a steady hand at point guard and could certainly use Felton's defense. 

Maybe it'll work out for Felton, but it's still got to be a disappointment to have gone from the wanted sidekick star in New York under a coach that makes point guards look great to being unable to unseat a younger player on a rebuilding team and getting shopped for a draft pick in a poor class. Someone get the guy a hug. Wait a minute, he got that new contract from New York last summer and Larry Brown is no longer haunting him. Nevermind, he's good.  
Posted on: June 21, 2011 10:36 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 11:09 am
 

Report: Valanciunas won't be stateside till 2012

Posted by Matt Moore

Drafting a Euro big always has its complications. Will he be able to adjust to the NBA style of play? Will he struggle with the physicality? Will his buyout be reached within a reasonable timeframe and will any of the core he was drafted into still be around then? Teams looking to draft Jonas Valanciunas will be faced with that last question it seems, if only for one more (possibly lockout-shortened) year.

Yahoo! and Draft Express' Jonathan Givony reports that Valanciunas' club Lietuvos Rytas has decided to stick with their demand of Valanciunas being unavailable until 2012 under any buyout agreement. That means that any team that wants Valanciunas will have to wait at least a year to get him, leaving him open to injury, second thoughts about coming across the pond, or any number of factors. More importantly, it means those teams looking to acquire a franchise center to build around now will have to have second thoughts. This has two consequences. 

One, Valanciunas may take a hit, as Ken Berger reports. A lot of the teams at the top of the lottery (Cleveland, Washington, Toronto) are looking for immediate impact players. They have antsy ownership wanting quick results. Telling them "You're going to love this guy we got... once he gets here." is not going to go over well, even if the lockout is going down next year. Sure, it makes no sense for ownership to be unhappy about a player missing out on a year they're not going to play, but you've already gone down the wrong path by assuming ownership is a set of rational actors. Shame on you.

Second, it helps Enes Kanter considerably. Kanter has allegedly slid a bit on draft boards because, well, he hasn't played anyone in a long time. Trying to figure out how good he is is like looking at a picture of a car on the internet. You don't even know if the thing is three-dimensional. With Valanciunas not available for immediate help, Kanter becomes the top Euro big in the draft, the top center overall. Expect there to be even more talk about the Cavaliers taking Kanter with the No.4 pick.

Valanciunas could still get picked up by a team with long-term prospects, like Utah, which is clearly willing to wait for things to develop. Someone in the top 10 will swallow the extra year on Valanciunas who will only be 20 when the 2012 season begins. But in a draft rife with disappointment, this is certainly an extra tough pill to swallow for those top-five teams looking to grab an impact player. 

There's still a chance Lietuvos Rytas could back down from its demands but with two days to go before the draft, they hold all the cards here.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: June 2, 2011 5:11 pm
 

Report: No NBA workouts for Donatas Motiejunas

Donatas Motiejunas will reportedly not work out for NBA teams due to scheduling issues. Posted by Ben Golliver.

One of the top European prospects in the 2011 NBA Draft can't find the time to squeeze in workouts for NBA teams.

Donatas Motiejunas, an offensive-minded, versatile forward from Lithuania, will reportedly be so occupied over the next three weeks in the run up to the Draft, which will be held June 23, that he won't be able to visit and meet with individual NBA teams in their home cities. 

The Racine Journal-Times reports that Motiejunas has a good excuse: he will be busy playing for his club team in Europe and then participating in a European scouting combine.
Motiejunas, a 6-foot-11 power forward, is playing for Benetton Treviso in the Italian League. Benetton has advanced to the semifinals of the Series A League. After the playoffs, Motiejunas plans to attend the adidas EuroCamp June 11-13.

As such, Herb Rudoy, Motiejunas' agent, said his client won't be able to work out for any NBA teams before the draft. "It's not that he doesn't want to; he just can't," Rudoy said. Rudoy also said he is in the process of setting up a physical for Motiejunas with an NBA team and then having the results forwarded to other teams interested in Motiejunas.

A native of Kaunas, Lithuania, Motiejunas is regarded as one of the more skilled big men in the draft. Some NBA officials project him to be selected anywhere from 6 to 14.
Motiejunas is clearly in the top tier of international talent that includes Enes Kanter, Bismack Biyombo, Jan Vesely and Jonas Valanciunas that has established itself as likely lottery picks.

The million dollar question is whether not holding workouts will affect his draft stock. While there's always the possibility that wowing scouts at a private workout gets them to fall in love with you, Motiejunas won't be doing himself too much harm by remaining abroad through the process. 

First, Motiejunas, 20, is a top five international prospect in this year's field and has been on the NBA radar for multiple years. He's a prospect that stands out immediately -- especially at a young age -- because of his height, length, overall offensive skill level and the fact that he's left-handed. He was the headliner of the 2009 international team at the Nike Hoop Summit, competed in the major European youth tournaments and has played for two seasons in the Italian league. Scouts know him and know him well.

Second, it's not like he's hiding. Not only is he playing in competitive play right now, he will be attending a major scouting showcase along with other top prospects this month. Adidas touts its Eurocamp as "the premier international basketball pre-draft camp" and notes that Biyombo will also be in attendance, as will Davis Bertans and Lucas Nogueira, two other possible first round picks. A clear picture of his basketball talents, if not clear, will emerge over the next few weeks.

Third, the relatively weak nature of the top half of the first round plays to Motiejunas' advantage here. If this class was stocked with elite athletes jumping out of the gym in private workouts or even if it was simply loaded with serviceable seven footers, there would be more pressure on him to prove himself. As it stands, there isn't a single American-born seven-footer projected to go in the first round. With such limited supply, Motiejunas, despite the finesse nature of his game, figures to be in high demand.
 
 
 
 
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