17 - Jonas Valanciunas

6-11, 240 Center
Lithuania International
05/06/92 (31.6 yrs)
Utena, Lithuania
International Team
Lietuvos Rytas
Euroleague Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

NBA Comparison: Spencer Hawes/Primoz Brezic

Strengths: Lithuanian bigman with great size and rebounding instincts … Has a long 6’11" frame and a huge wingspan to go along with it … Very fluid athlete … Runs the court well for a center … Good quickness and solid explosiveness/leaping ability … Strength/weight has been improving, and he should continue to add more in the future … Uses all of his physical skills to the fullest when attacking the glass … Extremely aggressive rebounder both offensively and defensively … Gets a lot of tip-ins and put-backs … Shows a good understanding of boxing out, which is somewhat rare for young players … Uses great length to either grab or tip out-of-area rebounds to teammates … Solid shot blocker with the potential to be very good in this area … Competes hard on defense … Length allows him to contest entry passes … Super active on both ends of the court … In the paint he shows a variety of developing moves … Has a nice jump-shot from 8-12 feet away from the hoop … Has great shooting mechanics and an extraordinarily soft touch for a bigman … Has a developing hook shot that could be deadly in time … Often used in pick and roll situations … Favorite move is to "slip" after setting up for a pick, and cut to the rim … Keeps the ball high and away from any secondary defenders … Incredibly efficient (shot 70.8% from the field in the Euroleague) … Doesn’t miss a lot of shots because he operates so close to the rim … If he doesn’t have a high-percentage shot he immediately passes the ball out … Remarkable free-throw shooter (88.5%) … Tough player that’s not afraid of contact … Just turned 19 and has a great deal of potential … Has a lot of enthusiasm for the game, and eager to improve. Unlike a lot of bigmen that were pushed into the game of basketball, it’s obvious he has a genuine love for the game …

Weaknesses:  Can’t create his own offense yet … Has a budding set of skills in the post, but needs teammates who can set him up … No real perimeter game … Almost all offense comes from around the hoop … Very unselfish but not a talented passer … Makes a lot of mistakes when trying to pass out of double teams … Plays very aggressively, which is a good quality, but it gets him in foul trouble quickly … Needs to learn how to play good defense without fouling … Hasn’t developed the habit of remaining stationary when setting screens … Struggles guarding stronger players … Still skinny, though he is showing progress in this area … Is currently signed with Lietuvos Rytas and the buyout option in his contract is over $3 million dollars, so he may not see the NBA for a few seasons … Very wet behind the ears.

Overall: European scouts are unanimously high on this kid, many feel that he desrves to be a top 5 pick … Valanciunas’ combination of size, skill and motor gives him a high amount of intrigue … He isn’t a finished product, so whatever team drafts him will have to be patient … Has a buyout in the range of 3 million which could dissuade some teams from selecting him … The lockout comes at a perfect time for him as he can continue to develop for another year overseas … Appeared "overwhelmed by the situation" according to scouts while doing interviews in Treviso …

Tyler Ingle 6/15/11

Strengths: Long, agile bigman with a lot of promise … The next big prospect out of Lithuania (after Motiejunas) .. Extremely fluid running the floor for a player his size … His long wingspan and huge hands make him an imposing force inside … Has good dexterity to catch the ball and make plays around the basket … A good athlete who gets off the floor well and attacks the rim … Born in 1992, considering his age, he appears to be a guy that is not done growing and could top out at well over 7-feet … Wide shoulders will allow him to put on a good deal of strength and weight without hindering his agility … Shows a soft touch on his shot with excellent shooting mechanics and overall fundamentals … Can face the basket and knock down shots out to 12 feet … Good basketball IQ … Strong motor. Plays with a strong competitive drive … Hard working kid who should continue to improve … Shows solid vision and court sense, getting rid of the ball and finding teammates when doubled …

Weaknesses: His body still needs a lot of strength, although he has plenty of time to fill out and his body appears to be on it’s way … Appears to easily get into foul trouble, so will need to learn to manage his aggressiveness defensively … He’s sure to receive a lot of hype over the next few years, so staying focused and blocking out all the press clippings will be paramount … Not incredibly explosive. Added strength should allow him to become quicker off his feet … A little too predictable with his post moves, he nearly always goes left, so adding more diversity to his moves will be important …

Aran Smith 5/1/09


YouTube Clip – 3/05/2011

YouTube Clip – 1/25/2010


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