#5: Jonas Valanciunas
The Toronto Raptors have selected 19-year-old center Jonas Valanciunas from Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius in Lithuania with the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft.
This young center described himself as a young Chris Bosh because of his size and underdeveloped frame coming into the draft. Valanciunas has a good pick-and-roll game now but the rest of his game is considered to be quite raw.
“Putting (Valanciunas) into an NBA game and expecting immediate results is probably not a fair expectation,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo.
“I am not afraid of raw. I took Amar’e Stoudemire. He was as raw as they come and he turned out to be a pretty good player.”
Valanciunas is 6′ 11″ and 240 lbs and was the top-ranked center prospect playing in Europe last season. In 31 games in Lithuania, Valanciunas averaged 11.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks in 20.4 minutes per game.
Valanciunas can run the floor and finish in the paint. He has a great motor and good hands.
There is a buyout issue between Valanciunas and his club team in Europe that could keep him overseas for at least another season, but Colangelo believes that this big man is worth the wait.