Toronto Raptors: How good can Fred VanVleet be next season?

Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /


In many ways, Fred VanVleet is a poor man’s version of Kyle Lowry. VanVleet is an impactful, versatile three-point shooter, is a sound passer, and is a much better defender than his measurables would suggest.

Offensively, VanVleet’s game starts with the threat of his jump shot. He shot 41.9-percent from beyond the arc last season, the highest on the team, and the numbers become more impressive the closer you look.

VanVleet shot 35.5-percent on off the dribble threes, typically a very low percentage shot. The ability to score with above average efficiency from one of the most difficult shots in basketball opened up the floor for the rest of Toronto’s offense.

VanVleet’s passing also helps keep the offense on track. He is not a Ricky Rubio level passer, throwing players open or making magic out of thin-air, but he makes the right play the majority of the time without dominating the ball for long stretches.

Defensively, VanVleet should be a liability. He is generously listed as 6’0″ and doesn’t have other world athleticism or quickness. Yet, due to his strength, effort, and basketball IQ, FVV is still a positive on the defensive end.

Check out a play during the first quarter of a mid-season game against the Detroit Pistons:


Due to FVV’s hustle, it took Detroit 10 seconds to enter into their offense that possession, a possession that ended with a last-second heave against the shot-clock.

Others were involved, but that defensive stop can be credited to VanVleet. Plays like this add up over a season and help FVV make up for his other limitations.