Sabonis, Valanciunas want to play for Lithuania next month

Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis drives to the basket vs. the Grizzlies.

Indiana Pacers power forward Domantas Sabonis and Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas are both members of the Lithuania roster for the 2020 EuroBasket Qualifiers, scheduled to take place next month.

Both have made it clear they want to play for their national team — but both will need to green light from their NBA teams.

“I’m excited that both Domantas Sabonis, both Jonas Valanciunas have expressed their interest in joining the national team,” Lithuania coach Darius Maskoliunas said, via FIBA. “Everything is now in the hands of Federation officials, who are formalizing things with the Indiana Pacers and the Memphis Grizzlies, respectively. I’m hopeful they will be able to help our team again.”

It’s hard to tell if the Pacers and Grizzlies will go for this, as they may not want to risk injury to a key member of their respective teams. Sabonis already missed nearly all of the NBA’s return with plantar fasciitis.

That said, the NBA season isn’t expected to start for at least another two or three months, so this really wouldn’t be any different than any other offseason international competition.

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and

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