Toronto Raptors: Whose stock is rising/falling, plus a Siakam career-high

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Fred VanVleet – Stock Down

From the beneficiary to the victim.

Fred VanVleet is set to miss the next five weeks after undergoing surgery on his left thumb, similar to the procedure of Jonas Valanciunas.

It couldn’t have come at a worse time. After the Raptors traded away Delon Wright to the Memphis Grizzlies in the trade that brought Marc Gasol to Toronto, they lost the best ball-handling guard in the bench unit.

Fred VanVleet is great, but his ability to play off of the ball is what made him even better. Delon Wright should have had more of the ball when they were both on the court, but that’s a gripe that can’t be fixed now.

The addition of Jeremy Lin would have allowed Fred to flourish in that role, he could space the floor and occupy the corner as a spot-up shooter, he’s shooting 47-percent from three in the right corner. It definitely works.

The Lin signing also gives the Raptors the option to play it a little more cautious with VanVleet’s injury. Lin’s ability to dominate ball-handling duties and carry the load for the second unit means there should be no real rush to get VanVleet back on to the court. The Raptors can afford to play it safe and have VanVleet ready for the playoffs at full health, as opposed to hurrying Fred along the recovery process and risk him injuring himself again.

VanVleet was averaging 10.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season and had started in 22 games as well. Fred has stepped into the role as the lead guard in place of Kyle Lowry or secondary playmaker beside Lowry countless times this season and has delivered when doing so.

This injury is a real shame, but hopefully, we get a fully healthy Fred VanVleet in time for the start of the postseason.