Ranking the Toronto Raptors roster based on their current contracts

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

No. 8: Jonas Valanciunas

Season Win Shares: 2.7          Current cap-figure: $16.6 million

If the award existed, prior to his thumb injury, Jonas Valanciunas would’ve been one of the leading candidates for the seventh man of the year.

Forced to the bench often with Nick Nurse going with a stretch five in Serge Ibaka, Valanciunas has been a per-minute fiend against backup bigs.

In the 30 games prior to his absence, the Lithuanian big man was producing a career-high 24.5 points, 13.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes. The increase in scoring can be attributed to his career-best mark in eFG percentage (59.3).

Unfortunately for Valanciunas, his season took a turn when it was announced he suffered a thumb injury:

For those with a strong stomach, there are several videos online of his thumb dislocation. Proceed with caution.

In win shares, Valanciunas was on pace to shatter his previous career-high mark of .211 per 48 minutes (.235). Though his pace may sustain at a personal best, his totals will suffer from the lack of games and a reduction in minutes.

The Raptors are on the hook for $16.5 million this year, the fourth-largest compensation on the team.

When analyzing players with similar contracts, Valanciunas compares favorably to Paul Gasol directly above him ($16.8 million) with the latter playing in only nine games so far this year. Directly below him is Gary Harris ($16.5 million) who would likely provide more value to the team.

If given the option, the Raptors would likely choose a smaller number for their backup big man, but overall his production has been solid.

Next up on the list is his superior.