Jonas Valanciunas should be an All-Star for the New Orleans Pelicans

Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans aren’t getting much attention with a poor overall record and no Zion Williamson, but Jonas Valanciunas is starting to turn some heads.

JV has been dropping double-doubles left and right all season long and currently leads the NBA in that category. He’s been a great all-around player for the Pelicans this season and has helped keep the Pelicans afloat without Zion, which is why he should be making his first appearance in the All-Star Game.

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Most recently, Valanciunas had a career-high 39 points and made a career-high 7 threes as well against the Clippers. He is shooting 51 percent from beyond the arc, leading the NBA in 3 point percentage while averaging 19.3 points, 12.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

Jonas Valanciunas changed his game to fit the modern NBA and the New Orleans Pelicans

Jonas Valanciunas talked to Christian Clark from about shooting from the perimeter:

"“The big guy is evolving by being able to stretch the floor and shoot the three. Being able to handle the ball. Those things, I wanted to add to my game as well. I don’t want to disapear. I want to be successful in the league. Whatever it takes to be successful.”"

Spacing is huge in the NBA and Valanciunas is one of the bigs who has adapted by extending his range and becoming more of a passer.  It is nice to see a Pelicans big man able to adapt and be that guy they can rely on inside and out. It makes the Pelicans more of a threat in the Western Conference when they have someone like Jonas. What is scarier is that Zion Williamson is almost 100% and the Pelicans will essentially have three All-Stars on their team, so they can battle with the best teams in the league.

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JV played in the Lithuanian Basketball League and participated in the LKL All-Star Game in 2010, 2011, and 2012. He won the LKL All-Star Game MVP in 2011 and 2012.

Jonas Valanciunas has never been an NBA All-Star, but he certainly deserves to be this season. So when voting starts for the All-Star Game, make sure to vote for Jonas Valanciunas.