Wizards sign Jonas Valanciunas | The Sporting Base

Wizards sign Jonas Valanciunas

July 2, 2024

Wizards sign Jonas Valanciunas

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Sunday, the Washington Wizards have signed center Jonas Valanciunas of Utena, Lithuania. The terms of the contract are three years and $30 million.

The Wizards are the fourth team in the National Basketball Association Valanciunas has played for. He was previously with the Toronto Raptors for eight seasons from 2012 to 2019, three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies from 2019 to 2021, and three seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans from 2021 to 2024.

This past season with the Pelicans, he averaged 12.2 points per game, 8.8 rebounds per game, and 2.1 assists per game. He had a field goal percentage of .559, three point percentage of .308, and free throw percentage of .785.

Being Canadian, during his time in Toronto, I was extremely familiar with Valanciunas’s overall play. In my opinion, he was very underrated. On most nights he utilized his size extremely effectively, and frequently was an intimidating presence in the paint. It just so happens the same season Valanciunas was traded to Memphis (during the 2018-19 NBA regular season), the Raptors won the NBA Finals. Even though Valanciunas was not part of the Raptors during the 2019 postseason, there was an attempt by Raptors players to get Valanciunas a NBA ring. However, at the end of the day, the Raptors organization decided against Valanciunas any jewelry.

The free agent signing of Valanciunas is interesting when you consider the fact the Wizards are signing a 32-year-old veteran, when they struggled as a franchise this past season. Washington had a record of 15 wins and 67 losses. Only the Detroit Pistons at 14 wins and 68 losses were worse.

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