After a nasty ankle turn in Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, it’s been announced that Jonas Valanciunas will be out for the season with a grade II ankle sprain.
Luckily, no surgery is required, but it’s still a huge blow for the Memphis Grizzlies and their depth. It comes as no surprise that Valanciunas is out for the season, though, especially since there are five games left, and he — might — play a huge role for this team next year.
Valanciunas closes the season averaging 15.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 49 games with both the Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies. As a Grizzly, he really found his groove and was playing the best basketball of his career — averaging 19.9 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks.
With Valanciunas’ injury, we should expect to see extended frontcourt minutes for Ivan Rabb, Bruno Caboclo, and Yuta Watanabe. In addition, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Grizzlies extended a 10-day contract to add big man relief, as now the team’s newly-acquired big man will join Jaren Jackson Jr. and Joakim Noah on the injury reserve list as well.
Hopefully, we haven’t seen the last of Jonas Valanciunas in a Grizzlies uniform, as he has a $17M player option this summer, and he’s quickly emerged as a fan favorite with his phenomenal production and aggressive style of play.
Stats found on basketball-reference.
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