In the NBA, evolution is necessary for survival. If you get stuck in your ways, don’t be surprised if the world leaves you behind.
After all, everything else is changing. Meanwhile, you’ve only learned how to survive in the old world. If you don’t react to the environment around you, how will you last in it?
In recent years, this principle has especially applied to centers. In the midst of the three-point revolution, their games needed to grow. In 2022, a big who can’t at least shoot or defend threes is unlikely to find a prominent place in the modern game.
Perhaps no player encapsulates those changes more than Jonas Valanciunas. He came into the league as a traditional, bruising big man.
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Meanwhile, his feet as too slow for him to consistently defend the perimeter. Luckily, Valanciunas has been able to develop a reliable enough three-pointer to maintain his status as a starter in this league.
Could he be starting for a different club in 2022-23?