Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet reported the news, also noting Toronto is looking to move its No. 23 overall pick. Both represent future assets considering Valanciunas is just 25 years old and doesn’t have a player option on his deal until 2019.
The Raptors made the playoffs the last four seasons and reached the Eastern Conference Finals as recently as 2016. They wouldn’t seem to be in position to start a rebuild, but it is notable Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star reported earlier in the offseason Kyle Lowry had “zero interest” in returning to the team.
That puts Toronto in an interesting position this offseason as a team still chasing the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference and unsure if its star point guard will be back.
While keeping or trading Valanciunas may not be the single difference between Toronto and eventually eclipsing LeBron James in the conference—especially if Lowry leaves—he is a consistent double-double threat who averaged 12.0 points and 9.5 rebounds a night in 2016-17. The 7-foot, 255-pounder has also shot 55.6 percent from the field in his five seasons in the league.
His production, along with his age, would likely command a solid return package if Toronto were to move him.
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