Toronto Raptors: Five crazy predictions that might come true

Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Fred VanVleet gets traded

Everyone has been projecting which of the Raptors veterans will be traded this deadline. The most likely option seems to be either Serge Ibaka or Marc Gasol, while Kyle Lowry has already been discussed to several different locations as well.

But what if Masai Ujiri hit the entire NBA with a hesi and instead decided to ship out Fred VanVleet. At 25-years-old everyone has assumed Fred will be a part of the next core unit for the Toronto Raptors. But unless the team is head over heels in love, now might be the time to move on.

VanVleet is in the last year of his contract. At the moment, he makes $9.3 million, an incredibly reasonable number for someone of his talents in today’s NBA. Next summer, that’s about to change.

FVV will hit unrestricted free agency for the first time of his career and will be looking to get paid. It’s an extremely weak class; in fact, VanVleet will likely enter as the class’s best point guard. Across the league: Jaylen Brown just turned down $80 million, Buddy Hield just turned down $90 million, and Bogdan Bogdanovic just turned down a maximum four-year $51 million contract. With such a weak upcoming class, everyone is attempting to get to free agency. Once they hit the market, they will likely find someone to overpay for their services.

The same can be said for VanVleet. If he has a good season, he might be looking at offers in the range of  $18 to $20 million per season. Fred’s great, but he’ll probably never be in the top half of starting point guards in the NBA. Do you want to be on the hook for $20 million per season for a guy who is below average at his position? If Toronto is indeed attempting to clear space for 2021, VanVleet eats into that big time.

Also, after a historic Finals run in which VanVleet set the NBA world aflame, now might be his peak trade value. Teams who are hesitant on Lowry’s $30+ million figure might be more willing to dip their toes in the water for a cheaper, younger guard. Matching salaries with non-win-now players is also much more manageable at just $9 million.

FVV is still an incredible point guard, 25 years old, and has solid chemistry with Pascal Siakam.  Again, it’s not likely that the Raptors are going to trade VanVleet; however, it wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world. Everyone’s looking for the veterans to dealt, while FVV’s contract situation makes him a sleeper candidate.

Odds: 10-percent