The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday that they have exercised their third-year options on centre Jonas Valanciunas and guard Terrence Ross. By exercising these options, it will keep both players in Toronto through the 2014-2015 season. Valanciunas and Ross are important pieces to the Raptors future and both players play a significant role this upcoming season. Valanciunas will look to take the next step as a dominant big man, while Ross will try to provide a spark off the bench.
Both players had up and downs during their rookie season last year, but they showed promise. In 62 games, Valanciunas averaged 8.9 points per game and six rebounds per game. He was named to the All-Rookie Second Team and won the NBA Rookie of the month in March 2013. At just 21 years old, Valanciunas has the tools and potential to develop into one of the league's premier centres.
Terrence Ross played in 73 games for the Raptors last season, averaging 6.4 points per game and two rebounds per game. Ross, a high-flyer, won the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Although known for playing above the rim, Ross is just as capable of lighting it up with his jump shot. Ross possesses a nice stroke and can catch fire from beyond the arc at any given time. One knock on Ross has been his consistency, as after the All-Star break he seemed to lose himself. His consistency this upcoming season will be very important for the Raptors moving forward.
By having both of these players locked up through the 2014-2015 season, the Raptors have to feel good about their future.
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