If I had a dime for every time someone has commented about thinking whether or not Martynas Arlauskas would transfer, I’d probably have around five bucks by now.
The little-used Lithuanian winger saw even less time this season, logging a total of 40 minutes. After two seasons of riding the pine on the Zags’ bench, it is fair to wonder if he would aim for a different locale to maximize his playing time. Weeks after the season has ended, and with both Pavel Zakharov and Oumar Ballo departing Gonzaga for different schools, it seems like Arlauskas has decided to stick around in Spokane, or never thought about leaving in the first place.
The Gonzaga coaching staff has, for the most part, been completely on the money when it comes to the developmental track record of all of their projects. There isn’t much reason to suggest the curious case of Arlauskas is any different. Especially this season, with Corey Kispert occupying the majority of minutes at the three spot and Julian Strawther getting spot minutes behind him, there wasn’t much space for Arlauskas to contribute.
That might change next season. Kispert has graduated, so that is one less person in front of him in line. How that all shakes out will determine what Mark Few decides to do with the frontcourt, considering Chet Holmgren is hardly a traditional forward in the sense of the word.
If Few decides to run out a starting lineup of Timme, Anton Watson, Holmgren, Hunter Sallis, and Andrew Nembhard, it is hard to see Arlauskas breaking into that rotation, considering the bench players are Dominick Harris, Strawther, and Ben Gregg—all players ahead of him last season.
However, if Few decides to extend the rotation a bit to nine players (doubtful, but stranger things have happened), than Arlauskas versatility could find him getting 10 minutes or so per game. Either way, it is up to him to demonstrate he is deserving of those minutes in practice.