Nikola Vucevic vs. Jonas Valanciunas – Who is the better current and long term prospect?
Of these 2 young and talented Centers, who do you believe is the better current and long term prospect? Nikola Vucevic is 24 years old, and Jonas Valanciunas is 22.
Nikola Vucevic (2013-14) - 14.2PPG, 11RPG, 1.8APG, 51FG%, 76.6FT%, 1.1STLS, 0.8BLKS
J. Valanciunas (2013-14) – 11.3PPG, 8.8RPG, 0.7SPG, 53FG%, 76.2FT%, 0.3STLs, 0.9BLKS
Individual Season Highlights:
*30 Points & 21 Rebounds against LAC
*27 Games of 15+ Points
*42 Games of 10+ Rebounds
*24 Points & 23 Rebounds against CHAR
*8th in the NBA in RPG
*26 Points & 12 Rebounds against PHI
*25 Games of 15+ Points
*30 Games of 10+ Rebounds
*14 Points & 21 Rebounds against NYK
*10th in the NBA in FG% among qualifiers
I think Vucevic is the better big man currently, but not by much. The one advantage I expected Valanciunas to have was blocks and statistically the difference is insignificant. I think if they are both able to stay healthy then it's nearly impossible to say who will be the better of the two in the future.
Vucevic looks better to me right now, by quite a bit actually. I do wonder how much better he's likley to get though, physically (outside of size) he's pretty limited. The very solid starter that he is, may be as good as he gets.
Valanciunas has the potential to be better. Will be interesting to see where he falls on the pecking order with the Raptors. If he becomes their 1st or 2nd option the he's capable of 20ppg seasons....although he's still got work to do to get there.
Stats don't show but Valanciunas is a better low post defender right now. The dude is tough, I think he's going to keep getting better and better. He's already a ton stronger now then when he was drafted so I expect good things from him.
JV 14.4 ppg 11.3 rpg 1.1 bpg Vucevic 16.1 ppg 12.4 rpg .9 bpg
JVs per 36 put his current stats a bit closer to Vucevic's.
Just a side note, when I looked this up I saw that Kyle O'quinn's per36 numbers are really impressive. 13, 11, and 2.7 blocks on 50% from the field.
I like Vucevic slightly better right now because with his role he gets a lot done with limited touches and his rebounding is really consistent. I think Valanciunas is a better prospect, I just wonder if he will ever get the touches he needs in game to keep developing. I know the rules benefit perimeter players in the league, but everyone seems afraid to develop big guys. Get the kid some more shots, let him make his mistakes and maybe it pays off longterm and he becomes more assertive.
It's Jonas hands down. Vucevic is 2 years older. Jonas already has playoff experience. Part of the reason Vucevic has better numbers is due to being on a worse team. Jonas is on a playoff calibur team and is a better overall defender. If you look at this logically, Jonas would have higher numbers if he were in ORL because the team is not as good overall. Likewise, if Vucevic were to go to TOR his numbers would go down because of Lowry, Derozan, etc. I like both players overall and this is not to say Vucecvic is not a good player because I really like him. I would however take Jonas over him without hesitation.
Valanciunas will end up being one of the toughest players in the league when he grows up a bit. He completely bullied Brooklyn half the time he was on the floor in that playoff series. Val was very inconsistant this year but once he matures and becomes consistant he will be a dominant player. Jonas will not likely have the complete skillset offensively Vucevic has but Nikolai will never be the defensive intimidator Jonas is. His length also bothers alot of shots that stats dont show.
Right now it's Vucevic by a small to solid margin and the only + Valanciunas has over this guy right now is his shot blocking potential. I can see it climbling to 1.5+ next season. Long term prospect I would think Valanciunas by just a little bit because of the aforementioned shot blocking potential. Being able to affect shots in the paint is vital for a big man and I don't think Vucevic will ever be great at that. Buddy right above that says Jonas hands down is just simply a fanboy. To say Vucevic has better stats because he's on a worse team is easy, it doesn't mean you know squat. Raps coach didn't even trust Valanciunas much last year and actually constantly benched him earlier in the season during key situations and wouldn't even commit to Jonas being the Raptors Center of the future. He ofcourse played a lot better the last couple months of the season but upside/inconsistency is the name with this kid.
You're kindding with the statement right? "wouldn't even commit to Jonas being the Raptors Center of the future."
To put it in the simplest terms. The coach that you claim to have "said" that will be gone long before Jonas is from the Raptors. Why? Because Jonas is the centerpiece of the Raptors. Jonas is going to be a superior defensive player to Vucevic with a comparable offensive game. I will take the younger player that is better defensively with a comparable offensive game over the older guy that is not close defensively with a little more offensive polish.
I say Jonas hands down because he is out there every night bruising people. He has an above average offensive game for an center player now and is a good low post defender. His help defence needs work and he needs to learn how to effect the game in a physical manner without getting in foul trouble. He struggles getting to certain spots on the floor before the offense in help scenerios but repetition should fix his defensive awareness. And he has moments where he can be turnover prone, but what he brings you is a throwback hardnose defensive mentality, with a good low post skillset and mid range jumpshot touch. The key for me is he doesnt mind throwing the elbows yet his opponents would mind an elbow hitting them. He brings grit.
Right now Vucevic is better, by a wide margin. Look at there PERS, Vucevic has a 18.8, Valanciunas has a 16.2. In the long run Valanciunas has a higher ceiling. You are looking at two of the best young centers in the Game. As a Celtics fan I would want to have either one.
The two players are in different roles for their respective teams. Vucevic gets much more opportunities to score and is a bigger part of the offense for his team which makes comparing the statistics somewhat difficult. If Jonas was given more opportunities to score and actually had plays run for him he would likely increase his PER quite drastically. Add in the fact that Jonas is also the better big man defender and is 2 years younger it becomes quite obvious who the better prospect is.
I'd take Valanciunas 9 times out of 10 on this one.