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2011 NBA Draft Prospects: Jonas Valanciunas And His Buyout

About a week ago, it was reported that a) Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas had a contract with no buyout, meaning his team would need to be very "convinced" to let him go, and b) the Rockets were likely his floor at 14 overall. The buyout movement has moved, but now ESPN's Chad Ford believes that the buyout won't allow him to play in the United States next year:

Valanciunas update: Sources say buyout agreement close, however, buyout won't allow Valanciunas to play in NBA next season.

If Valanciunas can't play in NBA next year, he'll drop. Cavs won't take him at 4. Still I doubt he slips past the Rockets at 14.

First of all: that would be a steal for the Rockets if true.

Second: why on earth are teams so scared of that one year away from them? If you're already a bad team that needs multiple rebuilding years to get to the next level, then who cares if he can't join you post-haste? In fact, given the draft lottery, one could argue that you'd be better off with him over there keeping your record down so that you could get a higher pick next year.

But hey, whatever, the Rockets would likely take that stroke of good fortune.

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