With Jonas Valanciunas the hype was never going to sustain itself. As he starts his second year in the NBA the mystery of “that kid from Lithuania” is gone replaced by a known quantity.
That is not a slam on Valanciunas’s rookie season; his play ranged from fine to good getting better as the season went along. But Detroit rebounding wunderkind Andre Drummond leaped past him as the young centre most likely to devour the world and Valanciunas hit enough bumps particularly defensively to tame the fervor.
While the hype has slowed however the hope still remains.
“The ceiling is so high for him man” Aaron Gray the Raptors’ veteran centre said Wednesday. “He has a lot room for of growth. He has a lot left he needs to learn. He’s more than willing to do it which is amazing. I think you’re going to see steps from him even more this year. As far along as offensively as he is defensively he’s got to get a lot better for us to be a dominant team.”
In reality Valanciunas enters his sophomor...