Jonas Valanciunas Interview
7 foot center Jonas Valanciunas is one of the bright young European prospects and is considered a possible top 5 pick in this year's NBA Draft. We got a chance to catch up with him to see how things are going leading up to Thursday's draft.
NBADraft.net: How did the interviews go in Treviso?
Jonas Valanciunas: They went smooth. Got tired, but it was new experience to remember.
NBADraft.net: Were there any difficult questions?
Jonas Valanciunas: Yes. For instance,"do you want to play in the NBA?" Kidding!
NBADraft.net: Which teams did you interview with?
Jonas Valanciunas: First 8 teams.
NBADraft.net: Was staying in this year's draft a difficult decision for you?
Jonas Valanciunas: Not really. I was very confident on my decision as it is dream and goal.
NBADraft.net: Have you received any indication where in the draft you will go?
Jonas Valanciunas: Not yet. Hopefully within the lottery.
NBADraft.net: Do you have a preference in which team selects you?
Jonas Valanciunas: No, I do not. It doesn't make sense as I cannot control that. In order not to be upset, better not to think about it. I'll still play the same wherever I go.
NBADraft.net: What is your buyout situation?
Jonas Valanciunas: My agents are working hard on this question and it should be resolved before the draft.
NBADraft.net: Will you likely stay in Europe next season no matter what happens with the lock out?
Jonas Valanciunas: It depends on negotiations with my current club. In the worst scenario, I will be in NBA after 2011-2012 season. Wish that to be earlier.
NBADraft.net: What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses?
Jonas Valanciunas: If we talk about basketball, I consider my rebounding skills and quick arms as my strengths. And I like to (pick and) roll. However, there are many areas to be improved.
NBADraft.net: Which NBA player do you think your game compares to?
Jonas Valanciunas: Currently my role on the court is limited due to lack of physical strength. I will work hard to transform to another type of player, like Dwight Horward or Tim Duncan.
NBADraft.net: Describe what it was like winning the Under 18 championships last year.
Jonas Valanciunas: Biggest win in my life! Playing at home made it very special.
NBADraft.net: A number of Lithuanian centers have had success in the NBA: (Ilgauskas, Sabonis) Have you ever gotten any tutelage or advice from many of them?
Jonas Valanciunas: No, I haven't talked to them about it. But I talked to Linas Kleiza who advised me few things.
NBADraft.net: Best of luck to you, Jonas!
His comparison for himself is two completely different players...
7ft? I read a recent interview where he said that he was 6'9 barefoot.
International pre draft media hype is akin to hypnotizing minds- buyer beware, don't believe the hype!
On another note what's up with all these International players entering the draft with immense buy out clauses?
Either declare for the draft with no string attached or stay out of the draft- point blank.
Stern bends the draft eligible rules over backwards for potential International draft players but holds US draft eligible players to more stringent standards ie the withdraw date for 2011 Internationals is June 13th while the US college date is May 8th in order to retain college eligibility.
I'm am not sold on this guy.. yes he may be athletic but there are plenty of guys from the usa who are less risky who could offer the same production.. I'm not sure what people are thinking about potential for.. he's big.. but not outrageously.. he's actually pretty skinny and will get pushed around the nba for awhile.. I'm higher on Motiejunas simply because he's such an offensive weapon, he has all the skills... If i'm misinformed please help me out!!
@ Pro 1
No it wasn't 6'9,It was 6.9 barefoot which = 6'11 ,that was a bad translation,and some guys from Lithuania said in the Lithuanian report version it was correct
And anyway he was actually measured 7ft,245IB with 7'4 wingspan according to Chad Ford