J. Valančiūnas is ready to return to Europe
J. Valančiūnas is ready to return to Europe

When his NBA contract with the New Orleans Pelicans expires this summer, Jonas Valančiūnas is not ruling out the possibility of returning to Europe and wearing a Vilnius Wolves jersey next season.

According to the president of the Lithuanian capital's club Rimantas Kaukėnas, the captain of the Lithuanian national team shared his thoughts at the Wolves shareholders' meeting last week.

"When Jonas became one of our investors last summer, we said jokingly that we would wait for his contribution on the basketball court as well. Last week, when the shareholders were presenting the club's plans for the upcoming season, we once again joked that we already had a Wolves kit ready for Jonas. The laughter ended when our nation's basketball star revealed that he was seriously considering a return to Europe.

We could join the EuroLeague only if we win the EuroCup. As the talks about the merging of European tournaments continue, getting a ticket to Europe's toughest league may be much more difficult in the future. Therefore, Jonas assured us that he is not ruling out the option of helping the Wolves win the title next season. What sounded like a joke less than a year ago, I'm talking about Jonas in the Wolves lineup, seems like it can become a reality," smiled R. Kaukėnas.

According to one of the club managers, J. Valančiūnas will make his final decision in the summer, after the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) or after the Olympic Games itself if the Lithuanian national team successfully qualifies.

The Pelicans are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference and are fighting for an outright spot in the NBA playoffs.

In August of last year, J. Valančiūnas joined the business circle and invested in shares of the Basketball Holding Company which manages the Vilnius-based club.


(April Fool's story)