NBA Rumors: Jonas Valanciunas seeking extension with Pelicans

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NBA Rumors Jonas Valanciunas seeking extension with Pelicans

For one of the latest NBA rumors, Jonas Valanciunas is seeking an extension with the New Orleans Pelicans. The 6-foot-11 center signed a two-year, $30.14 million contract with New Orleans in October 2021.

The 11-year veteran made $14.7 million in the 2022-23 season and is projected to earn $15.435 million next season. If negotiations fail this offseason, Valanciunas, 31, will become an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

Upon further review of a few NBA betting sites, the Denver Nuggets are the favorite to win the 2023 NBA Finals. Sportsbooks show Nikola Jokic with the best odds to win Finals MVP.

“We had some talks with [the Pelicans]. I think this summer won’t be easy for them [team executives] because they will have to make a few key decisions,” Jonas Valanciunas told BasketNews.

“Our season didn’t go as planned, so there will definitely be changes. I would like to stay and extend my contract. 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 Rumors: Jonas Valanciunas plans to remain with the New Orleans Pelicans, pursue extension this offseason

In 79 starts with New Orleans in the 2022-23 season, Valanciunas averaged 14.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 24.9 minutes per game. JV also shot 54.7% from the floor, 34.9% outside the arc, and a career-best 82.6% at the foul line.

Furthermore, in the Pelicans’ 128-119 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 19, the center scored a season-high 37 points in 38 minutes of action. Along with logging 18 boards, five assists, and one steal, Valanciunas shot 14-of-24 (58.3%) from the field and 7-of-10 (70%) from 3-point range.

At the moment, C.J. McCollum is the highest-paid player on the Pelicans. His salary cap figure is $35,802,469, which represents 17.24% of New Orleans’ total cap. McCollum is entering the last season of his two-year, $64 million veteran extension.

Equally important, Brandon Ingram’s salary is $33,833,400. Ingram’s salary boils down to 16.29% of the Pelicans’ cap. This is part of the five-year, $158.25 million contract the All-Star forward signed with the club in November 2020. The seventh-year forward appeared in only 45 games this past regular season.

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