Memphis Grizzlies: Veteran Jonas Valanciunas is staying in Memphis

Jonas Valanciunas opted out of his player option to pursue a long-term contract with the Grizzlies and has found that long-term deal to stay in Memphis.

Jonas Valanciunas signed a three-year, $45 million contract to stay with the Grizzlies. He opted out of his player option over two weeks ago. If he would’ve accepted that option, he would have been paid $17.6 million for next season.

Valanciunas could offer some of the younger guys on the team some veteran advice. He has been in the league for seven years now and was a key part in building what the Toronto Raptors became this past season.

He’s been a part of a 48 loss team and a 59 win team. He has experience on a team on both sides of the spectrum, and that experience is valuable for young players.

It was up in the air if Valanciunas was going to return to the Grizzlies since they are looking to move into a younger direction.

It seems like the Grizzlies want a veteran player on the roster to point the young guys in the right direction, which is always a good idea.

A team that consists of all young players could lead to disaster since none of them have a lot of NBA experience.

I don’t see Valanciunas being the key leader in the locker room for the Grizzlies but more an older guy the young players can lean on for advice.

He averaged 19.9 points and 10.7 rebounds in 19 games with the Grizzlies which is the most productive he has been in his career. With those stats, it seems like a no brainer to bring him back to Memphis.

I don’t know if there’s a guy the Grizzlies could’ve replaced him with for his price.

With the Grizzlies looking to rebuild it doesn’t seem like they are selling everything. They still want to compete in 2019 even though they know they are probably not ready to compete in the postseason.

The Grizzlies could be the future of the Southwest Division if they play their cards right. Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans currently stand in their way, but if the Grizzlies can build a solid roster around Ja Morant, then I think they have a legit chance to top the Pelicans.