Jonas Valanciunas has developed into a serviceable starting center in his three years with the Raptors, and Toronto is interested in making sure he remains with the team for the foreseeable future.
ESPN's Marc Stein reports that Valanciunas has left the Lithuanian national team, in order to return to Toronto to finalize a contract extension that will be worth more than $60 million over the next four years.
No matter what the final figure ends up looking like, this is a smart move by the Raptors. Valanciunas was set to become a restricted free agent at the conclusion of the upcoming season, and would undoubtedly command a much larger salary after improving during his fourth NBA campaign.
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Combine that with the fact that the salary cap is expected to spike upwards of 30 percent in advance of next season, and Toronto is making a wise decision to invest in their big man now, as opposing to let the market dictate the future value of his services.
Valanciunas averaged 12 points and 8.7 rebounds per game for the Raptors in just 26.2 minutes per game last season, while knocking down a career-best 57.2 percent of his shots from the field.