If he comes into the league like Brook Lopez I'll be pleased.
Lopez is a pretty crappy rebounder for his size/position but at his best (his 2nd season), he's a very good scorer and passable defensive player. If Ed Davis develops into what he's projected to be (a tougher more defensive player) then that would be a good combo at PF and C to go forward with.
Jonas Valanciunas is unlikely to play for the Raptors before the 12-13 NBA season, but is looking forward to living in Toronto.
“Toronto is an international city with a lot of Lithuanians,” said Valanciunas. “After the draft, a lot of Lithuanians wrote me on Facebook telling me that if I need any help, just get back at them. I’m really happy by the chance of playing in Toronto.”
Valanciunas was the fifth overall pick in the draft, but only recently began believing the NBA would be in his future during the early part of last season.
“(It was then) that I realized I could make it into the NBA,” Valanciunas said. “The scouts came to watch my games and spoke with me. That’s when I realized I could make it.”
I love what I'm hearing about Jonas. I don't want to get my hopes up though, just remain cautiously optimistic lol.
I hear ya. Any positive news that I hear from him is a huge positive for me. I love the way this guy plays. I don't wanna put any expectations on him or anything, but I am really excited to watch him this year and then eventually on the Raptors.
He needs to get stronger and improve his conditioning, but he looks like he should fall somewhere in between a rich man's Yi Jianlian and a poor man's Pau Gasol. Hopefully less of a softy than either player.
The things I like about what I saw in the video:
- good b-ball IQ
- good skill level (full-court pass/drove past defender)
- good hands/nice inside touch
- long arms
- plays hard and with a little passion (unlike a certain someone else)
- looks like he has the frame to get stronger
- overall looks like he has a lot of potential
Things I didn't like:
- not a great leaper by NBA standards (makes up for it with super long arms)
- looks a little awkward/slow-footed (I question his one-on-one defensive ability at thw NBA level)
- saw very little in the way jump shots (not such a bad thing if he is at least capable of shooting)
- not great competition (no Czech players in NBA as far as I know, except Jan Vesely who might also be a stud by the way)
Overall, I think we may have a major steal on our hands, considering how weak this past draft was. With his size, length, good hands, good touch inside, and combination of bball IQ and character, he really looks like he might have the most potential of any prospect in this draft. As a bonus, there is a chance the other rookies won't even be playing this season, while Jonas will be playing a full season in Europe foe sure. By the time he arrives next season, he will be improved, and the Raptors will be better and more stable as well. As an extra bonus, Colangelo drafting a European center might mean he will finally at least try to move a certain other European "center".
Say what you want about Colangelo's overall incompetence as a GM, he has drafted well for three straight years.