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Raptors exercise option year on entry-level deals for Valanciunas and Ross

Toronto Raptors forward Jonas Valanciunas (17) knocks down New York Knicks forward Andrea Bargnani, right, during first half NBA pre-season basketball action in Toronto on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2013.

NATHA N DENETTE/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Toronto Raptors have exercised the third-year team options on the entry-level contracts of centre Jonas Valanciunas and guard Terrence Ross, extending the deals through the 2014-15 season.

The Raptors had until next Thursday to exercise their option on both players.

The seven-foot, 257-pound Valanciunas joined the Raptors after being selected fifth overall in the 2011 NBA draft and spending the 2011-12 season playing overseas.

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He was named to the 2012-13 NBA all-rookie second team after finishing the year ranked third among rookies in rebounds (6.0), blocks (1.26) and field goal percentage (.557). Valanciunas also ranked seventh among rookies averaging 8.9 points in 23.9 minutes.

A native of Utena, Lithuania, Valanciunas became the fifth rookie in franchise history to start on opening night and the second to record a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) in his debut.

Ross, a six-foot-seven, 197 pound forward, was selected eighth overall in the 2012 draft. Last season he posted averages of 6.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 17.0 minutes in 73 games. He shot .332 (65-196) from beyond the arc and finished fifth among rookies in made three-pointers

Ross won the slam dunk competition at the 2013 all-star game. He defeated Jeremy Evans in the final round with 58 per cent of the fan votes.

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