MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Grizzlies Big Man Jonas Valanciunas reportedly wants to stay in Memphis if he gets a long term deal.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Valanciunas decided not to opt in to his 1 year, $17.6 million player option.
Instead, Valanciunas is looking for the security a longer term deal would bring, and he reportedly wants to do it in the Bluff City. Valanciunas is currently in Europe, but he had this to say at the team’s exit meeting at the end of the season.
“I mean, I want to be able to be in a good position to play basketball, get minutes, produce on the court, an be in a structure where a big man’s needed. I feel like it’s the right fit for me here," he said.
Adds Grizzlies Executive ViP of Basketball Operations Zach Kleiman,"We don’t comment on the contractual matter. We will say Jonas did a tremendous job I think both on and off the court the few months that we had him here. Certainly a big time bucket-getter who can bully guys around the rim, screen setter, re-screen setter. The spacing that he helped create over the last few months of the season...unique skill set."
The big Lithuanian averaged 19.9 points and 10.7 rebounds a game after the February trade from Toronto for Marc Gasol.