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2011 NBA Draft: Rockets Are Valanciunas' 'Floor'

Lithuanian big man Jonas Valanciunas' draft stock has taken a bit of a tumble lately with the news that his buyout may be a bit more tricky than previously thought. Most European players contracts comes equipped with a buyout that the signing team must pay so that he may enter the NBA. There was talk that his buyout will be $3 million or more, but right now there is actually no buyout clause in his contract at all.

Despite that, Valanciunas' camp does not seem all that concerned, and ESPN's Chad Ford suggests that the Rockets at No. 14 overall are his floor:

A number of teams remain anxious about Jonas Valanciunas' buyout situation. As it stands right now, he has no NBA buyout in his contract and is under contract with his team for two more years. Valanciunas' agent, Leon Rose, has hired one of the top lawyers in Europe to attempt to negotiate a buyout of his contract. While they continue to hope that something is worked out before the draft, to date, they've been unsuccessful. If Valanciunas can't get a buyout worked out, there's a good chance he could slide in the draft.

Valanciunas has until June 13 to withdraw from the draft. But don't count on it. His team believes that even without the buyout, he's unlikely to fall out of the lottery. From what I can gather, they believe the Rockets, who are drafting at 14, are his floor

The Dream Shake recently voted Valanciunas as the No. 4 overall prospect for the Rockets in the draft, behind only Enes Kanter, Kyrie Irving, and Derrick Williams. Needless to say, the Rockets would likely be doing cartwheels if he fell to 14.

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