6 trade targets for Rockets' GM Rafael Stone

New Orleans Pelicans v Atlanta Hawks
New Orleans Pelicans v Atlanta Hawks / Casey Sykes/GettyImages
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6. Jonas Valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas has been a very reliable player in each of his three stops in the league. In fact, JV has practically averaged a double-double in every destination, with the Toronto Raptors being the lone exception, and he narrowly missed the mark, averaging 11.8 points and 8.4 rebounds for the franchise over seven seasons.

Valanciunas presents offensive efficiency (career 56.1 percent shooter and 61.5 percent true shooting) and terrific rebounding. JV has been a top-six rebounder in each of the last four seasons, as outlined below:

  • 2019-20: 11.3 rebounds-5th
  • 2020-21: 12.5 rebounds-6th
  • 2021-22: 11.4 rebounds- 4th
  • 2022-23: 10.2 rebounds- 5th

The Lithuanian big man has also been a bit of an iron man, as he’s missed just 11 games in the last two seasons, which is rare in the load management era that currently exists. JV is in the final year of his contract and is set to make $15.4 million in 2023-24.

The Pels haven’t made it a priority to extend him, in part because of his lack of defensive versatility, coupled with his inability to shoot, which clogs the paint and creates spacing issues.

The Rockets could do much worse than the ol’ reliable center.