New NBA Trade Intel Revealed On Pelicans, Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The New Orleans Pelicans have made center Jonas Valanciunas available in trade talks, according to NBA insider Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Valanciunas has one year left on his contract. He will make $15.4 million next season. Fischer linked the Pelicans big man to the San Antonio Spurs, who made a trade with New Orleans this past season.

“San Antonio was known to be waiting with a short-term contract for Reid and the hope of pairing him with Victor Wembanyama in the frontcourt, sources said,” Fischer wrote. “Now the Spurs will have to turn to other targets, perhaps someone like Pelicans center Jonas Valančiūnas, as New Orleans and San Antonio recently did business on offloading Devonte’ Graham’s contract, and the Pelicans, sources said, have since made Valančiūnas available in search of more mobile, rim-protecting big men.”

Valanciunas averaged 14.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists this past season while shooting 54.7% from the field, 34.9% from beyond the arc and 82.6% from the free-throw line. The 31-year-old recorded 43 double-doubles in 79 starts.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jonas Valanciunas & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Despite putting up good numbers, though, Valanciunas wasn’t able to help the Pelicans make the playoffs. New Orleans won only 42 games and lost the 9-10 play-in game at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

During a June 1 interview with Kestas Rimkus of 24sek.lt, Valanciunas said he would like to remain with the Pelicans.

“I would like to stay and extend my contract,” Valanciunas said. “Obviously, during the season, you try to help the team as much as possible, but when the summer comes, you try to take care of your own things – how to extend the contract and stuff.”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Jonas Valanciunas & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

The Pelicans acquired Valanciunas from the Memphis Grizzlies in August 2021. The veteran signed a two-year, $30.4 million extension with New Orleans in October 2021. Valanciunas is averaging 15.9 points and 10.8 rebounds in 153 games with the Pelicans.

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