NBA News Roundup, Friday, June 14th: Kyrie Irving heading to Brooklyn, Kemba Walker discusses his future and more
The 2019 offseason is quickly approaching and it is gearing up to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. The upcoming free agent class is perhaps the best in NBA history, as the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler and Kevin Durant will all be up for grabs.
Teams such as the Lakers, Thunder and Rockets are also attempting to make big moves as they look to build a roster that can compete during the 2019/20 season while superstars such as Anthony Davis continue to be linked with a blockbuster trade. So, here are all the latest NBA rumours and news you need to know for June 14th:
Jonas Valanciunas declines $17.6M option; hopes to secure a longer deal
With free agency quickly approaching, a number of players around the league must decide whether to activate their final year player-options. Among them is Jonas Valanciunas, and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the center has turned down the final year of his deal in order to secure a longer contract:
Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas is declining the $17.6M player option on his 2019-20 contract, clearing the way to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, league sources told ESPN.
Valanciunas' primary intention will be to negotiate a new longer-term deal with the Grizzlies, league sources said. In the post Marc Gasol-era, Valanciunas remains the franchise's focus to continue as its starting center.
Memphis VP of Basketball Operations Zach Kleiman and Valanciunas' agent, Leon Rose of CAA, are expected to work aggressively on finding the pathway to a new deal, sources said.
Valanciunas, 27, joined the Memphis Grizzlies back in February as part of the trade that took Marc Gasol to Toronto. In 19 games, he averaged 19.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.