Jonas Valanciunas is headed to New Orleans for his first taste of the NBA all-star weekend, but it’s going to be a short visit.

Valanciunas, who will take part in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night, will be in Mexico soaking up some sun by the time the next official game is played the following evening.

Valanciunas, like many of his teammates, needs this break.

Physically, he’s still getting up and down the court and was certainly active enough to pull down 14 rebounds in the final game before the break.

Head coach Dwane Casey wouldn’t quibble about his 1-of-9 shooting in the game, saying the effort was there. If anything, he thought his sophomore centre might have been trying too hard.

But Casey was not about to say Valanciunas couldn’t use the break in the schedule that comes with the all-star weekend.