The Raptors failed to advance in the NBA Summer League tournament after falling to Portland last night 91-85. The good news for the Raptors is that it appears Fred VanVleet looks ready to become a full-time NBA player.
Fred VanVleet went undrafted after four years at Wichita State where he was the two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. He led the Shockers to the NCAA tournament four consecutive years highlighted by a run to the Final Four during the 2013-14 season.
The 6-foot guard from Rockford, Illinois has excelled at every level he has played and he looks poised to make the leap to becoming a full-time NBA player.
More from Raptors Rapture
- Toronto Raptors: Poor week leads to drop in latest NBA power rankings
- Raptors 905: Toronto should sign Alize Johnson amid trade interest
- Raptor of the Week: DeAndre’ Bembry
- Raptors: 3 questions Toronto needs to ask themselves ahead of Trade Deadline
- Raptors: How does Toronto stack up with Brooklyn after Blake Griffin news?
He saw limited action last year with Toronto playing in 37 games and averaged 7.9 minutes per game which was hardly enough time to make an impact. However, it was enough time to get his feet wet and become acclimated to the pro game and instil confidence moving into this year.
During last nights summer league game, VanVleet had 31 points for the Raptors in the loss but he was clearly the best player on the floor and showed signs that he has created separation amongst many of the games best young players.
Last season, VanVleet showed he is more than just a G League player during his 16 game stint with Raptors 905 where he was dominant against that level of competition averaging 16.9 points and 7.6 assists per game.
During his four game stint out in Las Vegas, VanVleet has been the teams floor general and looks the part of a legitimate NBA calibre guard. He averaged 28.2 minutes with 18.8 points and five assists per game.
More importantly, he has shown confidence that he is ready to take the next step in his career.
VanVleet has earned the opportunity to compete for more minutes during the teams pre-season schedule and could leap frog the competition ahead of him on the Raptors depth chart. He has proved he could also be a valuable asset in the trade market for another NBA team who is thin at the guard position.
Many players who get to the NBA from a mid-major college seem content with their cup of coffee in the league before they head over to Europe and then move into coaching or the business world.
VanVleet seems focused to turn himself into a full-time NBA player in Toronto or wherever that opportunity is available to him.