It was a relatively disappointing 2016-17 campaign for Jonas Valanciunas, as he didn't quite have the statistical jump that was envisioned following the departure of Bismack Biyombo to the Magic. Valanciunas ended up averaging nearly identical minutes per game with 25.8, while adding 12.0 points and 9.5 rebounds over 80 starts, both of which were similar to the previous year's totals. The addition of Serge Ibaka at the trade deadline certainly didn't help either, as that allowed the Raptors to use a more athletic center that could stretch the floor occasionally, which appears to be the trend in today's NBA landscape. With Ibaka receiving a three-year, $65 million extension this offseason, that will likely again hamper Valanciunas' ability to show improvement with his overall production. He's still penciled in as the team's starting center, but Ibaka's versatility could continue to be an issue. Playing time similar to the 25.8 minutes he saw in 2016-17 is expected for the 25-year-old, although if the Raptors continue to experiment with a more athletic lineup and are successful in doing so, that could come at the expense of Valanciunas, which would hurt his potential as a Fantasy option.
Valanciunas scored 11 points (5-8 FG, 1-1 FT) while adding 10 rebounds, two blocks and an assist in 23 minutes during Friday's preseason win over the Bulls. The big man appears to be more than ready for the regular season, which will begin for the Raptors next Thursday at home against the Bulls once again. Valanciunas is a nightly double-double threat when his court time isn't undercut by the Raptors going with a smaller lineup, but his overall production is likely to remain vaguely disappointing.
Valanciunas totaled eight points (3-5 FG, 2-2 FT), seven rebounds and a block across 17 minutes in Thursday's 106-101 preseason loss to the Trail Blazers. Valanciunas turned in his third strong effort in as many exhibition tilts, making good use of his modest time on the court. The 25-year-old has seen his minutes diminish after each of the last two games, as head coach Dwane Casey looks to preserve his big man for the regular season. Factoring in Thursday's effort, Valanciunas is averaging 9.6 points and 7.7 rebounds across 18.7 minutes over his first trio of preseason games.
Valanciunas had 11 points (5-7 FG, 1-1 FT), six rebounds, one steal and one turnover across 19 minutes during Wednesday's preseason matchup with the Clippers. Valanciunas has been solid over the team's first two preseason contests, shooting 9-for-12 from the field for 21 points. He's locked into the team's starting center spot, but as we saw last season, the Raptors will likely run plenty of sets with the more athletic Serge Ibaka at center. That likely means Valanciunas will find it hard to surpass the 25.8 minutes per game he averaged a season ago. That being said, he'll still be on double-double watch whenever he sees significant minutes.
Valanciunas scored 19 points (8-10 FG, 3-4 FT) while adding eight rebounds across 33 minutes in Friday's 115-94 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 3. Valanciunas was back in the starting lineup and ended up being the second-highest scorer on the team. Without Kyle Lowry (ankle), the team needed more offensive options besides DeMar DeRozan, and Valanciunas supplied that, shooting 80 percent from the floor on the game. It remains to be seen if Valanciunas will draw another start in Game 4, but he saw an increase in minutes Friday night over his postseason average (20.9 minutes per game).
Valanciunas will draw the start at center for Friday's Game 3 against the Cavaliers. Valanciunas will replace Patrick Patterson in the starting five and play next to Serge Ibaka. It's unclear whether him getting the starting nod will represent a minutes increase, as it could be tied to Kyle Lowry (ankle) coming off the bench. He's averaging 10.6 points and 6.8 rebounds across 20.9 minutes per game in the postseason.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||73||356||56.5||0||0.0||185||78.7||897||12.29||1666|