Is starting Fred VanVleet the right choice for the Toronto Raptors?

Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Fred VanVleet (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Fred VanVleet (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Fred VanVleet has begun the season as the starting shooting guard for the Toronto Raptors. Is starting VanVleet the right choice for Toronto?

Coming off an incredible latter half of the postseason, Fred VanVleet knew just as well as anyone that he would have an increased role for the Toronto Raptors in the 2019-NBA season. Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard departed Toronto for the lure of L.A., just at different ends of the corridor and, therefore, there were roles to be filled.

Initially, it seemed like Norman Powell would lineup as the Raptors starting shooting guard, with OG Anunoby as the starting small forward. However, only one of those predictions rang true – so far at least – with Anunoby regaining his previous role as the starting small forward.

The starting shooting guard spot was given to Fred VanVleet, and deservedly so. VanVleet looked like the Raptors best player in the preseason, averaging 14 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game, shooting 43-percent from the field and 44-percent from three. Those performances, along with his terrific display in the Eastern Conference Finals, and the NBA Finals, were enough to earn him the starting job for the foreseeable future.

VanVleet started the season on an absolute tear, scoring a career-high 34 points, adding five rebounds, and seven assists as the Toronto Raptors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans in the season-opener.

While his second start of the season – against the Boston Celtics – wasn’t as fruitful, VanVleet still shot 40-percent from three, adding six assists but only eight points on 2-of-11 shooting from the field, there’s still reason for optimism moving forward.

From then on, VanVleet has been productive as he’s averaged 18 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game, shooting 40-percent from three.

Nick Nurse has made it clear that he doesn’t intend on changing the starting lineup any time soon, meaning VanVleet will remain as the starter until a time when Nick Nurse sees otherwise.

Is that the right choice, though?