Jonas Valanciunas revealed he hopes he can agree to a contract extension with the New Orleans Pelicans, adding that he sees himself returning to Europe.

Credit: AP-Scanpix
Credit AP-Scanpix

New Orleans Pelicans and Lithuania national team center Jonas Valanciunas would like to stay with the Pelicans.

Jonas Valančiūnas

Jonas  Valančiūnas
Jonas  Valančiūnas
MIN: 24.98
PTS: 14.14 (60.8%)
REB: 10.28
As: 1.79
ST: 0.25
BL: 0.65
TO: 2
GM: 80

In an interview with Kestas Rimkus from, the 31-year-old talked about his situation in the NBA, a possible return to the EuroLeague, and the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup.

"I can see myself playing for a European club," Valanciunas revealed Kestas Rimkus from "I felt sympathy for European basketball for the whole of my life, so I would not rule such a possibility in the future."

"At this moment, I prefer teams with Lithuanian connections, including Barcelona with Saras and Rokas [Jokubatis]. Whether I'll play there one day? It's difficult to say. It's two different things to support and play for the team," Valanciunas added. 

Valanciunas also talked about his future in the NBA with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Lithuanian big man revealed he would like to stay with the Pelicans.

"We had some talks with [the team]. I think this summer won't be easy for them [team executives] because they will have to make a few key decisions. Our season didn't go as planned, so there will definitely be changes," Valanciunas said.

"I would like to stay and extend my contract," JV continued. "Obviously, during the season, you try to help the team as much as possible, but when the summer comes, you try to take care of your own things – how to extend the contract and stuff."

Soon Valanciunas will be busy with basketball again as he will lead Lithuania's national team during the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

However, Lithuania faces many doubts before the upcoming tournament. Four EuroLeague players – Marius Grigonis, Edgaras Ulanovas, Lukas Lekavicius, and Rokas Giedraitis – already confirmed they won't play for their national team this summer.

Jonas Valančiūnas

Jonas  Valančiūnas
Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Position: C
Age: 31
Height: 211 cm
Weight: 116 kg
Birth place: Utena, Lithuania

Meanwhile, there is plenty of uncertainty regarding the Sacramento Kings star Domantas Sabonis and Zalgiris Kaunas wingman Ignas Brazdeikis.

"We talked [with Domas]," Valanciunas revealed in an interview with "You can't choose or predict injuries, things like that happen. There is a lot of uncertainty regarding his injured finger. It's a delicate situation, he [Sabonis] really has a busy summer ahead of him."

"I don't want to answer for him [whether he'll play for Lithuania or not]. It's his decision to make. Usually, he always comes to play for Lithuania. If he's ready physically and he'll sort his contract stuff, I hope he comes," Valanciunas added on Sabonis situation.

Valanciunas also didn't want to criticize the players who declined an invitation to the national team.

"I spoke with some of those guys. We talked, but I can't judge a player because he decided not to play for the national team," Valanciunas said. "If they wouldn't come because they want to rest and enjoy the summer, it would be different. You have to look at every situation individually. All of them have families, kids, and parents. There are more important things in life than basketball."

"I don't see a point in judging them, but I always try to recruit them to the national team because I see a meaning in it," he added.

In the upcoming FIBA World Cup, Lithuania will play in Group D and face Egypt, Montenegro, and Mexico.

Before the event, Lithuanians will compete in 10 friendly games.

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