Valanciunas delivered 23 points (9-11 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 5-8 FT), 10 rebounds, and two assists in 21 minutes during Tuesday's 108-107 loss to the Spurs. Valanciunas was incredible in his debut with his new team, scoring at least 20 points for the fifth time through 31 appearances in this his first game since Dec. 12. The 26-year-old veteran has grown accustomed to coming off the bench and doing damage regardless of how much playing time he's afforded. As a result, it's safe to re-insert Valanciunas into fantasy lineups even if the Grizzlies continue to bring him off the pine while allowing Ivan Rabb -- who played only 11 minutes Tuesday -- to start alongside Jaren Jackson.
Valanciunas has been cleared to make his team debut Tuesday against the Spurs after his immigration paperwork cleared successfully, Michael Wallace of the Grizzlies' official site reports. Valanciunas will finally be available for the Grizzlies after being held out while his immigration paperwork went through. He hasn't taken the court since Dec. 12 due to a thumb injury, so his minutes will likely be monitored closely following a lengthy absence, especially with Memphis kicking off the front end of a back-to-back set. Valanciunas is expected to begin his time with Memphis as a backup behind Ivan Rabb.
Valanciunas was unable to practice with the Grizzlies on Tuesday morning as the team waits for his immigration paperwork to process, Omari Sankofa of The Athletic reports. While Marc Gasol has already played in two games for the Raptors, Valanciunas is still waiting on his final clearance, and at this point it's unclear if he'll be able to make his Grizzlies debut Tuesday night against the Spurs. Memphis hasn't ruled him out or offered much detail on the situation, so consider Valanciunas firmly questionable for the time being.
Valanciunas didn't participate in the Grizzlies' practice Monday, Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic reports. Valanciunas is still waiting for this immigration paperwork to be approved in the aftermath of Thursday's trade that sent him from Toronto to Memphis. The Grizzlies remain hopeful that Valanciunas' situation will be resolved in advance of Tuesday's game against the Spurs. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff has already stated that he plans to stick with Ivan Rabb as the team's starting center for now, so Valanciunas may have to settle for a timeshare at the position initially rather than the 30-plus-minute role some may have expected following his acquisition.
Valanciunas is expected to come off the bench when he likely makes his Grizzlies debut Tuesday against the Spurs after coach J.B. Bickerstaff said after Saturday's 99-90 win over the Pelicans that he'll stick with Ivan Rabb as the team's starting center for the time being, Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic reports. "He's earned it," Bickerstaff said of Rabb. With Marc Gasol sitting out his final two games with Memphis before the trade deadline and Valanciunas not able to receive clearance for Saturday's contest due to immigration issues, Rabb drew his third straight start. The second-year big man has made the most of the opportunities with averages of 14.7 points (on 72 percent shooting from the field) and 9.7 boards, and his emergence will probably put a cap on Valanciunas' minutes for the time being. That said, it's still likely that a fairly even timeshare will develop between the two. Even if Valanciunas is held at around 20-to-25 minutes in his initial games with Memphis, he'll still warrant rostering in most formats after excelling in a similar allotment of playing time in Toronto. Prior to requiring surgery in December to address a thumb issue -- an injury he's since recovered from -- Valanciunas was averaging 12.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 0.8 blocks in 18.8 minutes per game while shooting 57.5 percent from the floor and 81.9 percent from the line.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||72||361||56.2||10||40.0||169||79.0||902||12.53||1677|