Toronto Raptors point guard, Fred VanVleet, has a decision to make whether he stays with The Raptors or signs with a new team.
This Friday is day one of NBA Free Agency and VanVleet can stay with the Toronto Raptors or sign with any team he wants especially with teams like the New York Knicks and the Detroit Pistons have significant cap space to sign him.
VanVleet, who averaged a career-high 17.6 points per game, 4.1 assists per game, and 2.6 rebounds per game, was recently asked about his upcoming decision on The Old Man & The Three podcast and said that he is looking to get paid this offseason.
"“I’m not shy about that. I don’t have to tell people that I value winning. Just look at my story, do your research,” he said. “I’ve never been on a losing team in my entire life. That’s what I’m about and that’s just what it is. I won a championship and now it’s time to cash out.”"
The 6 feet 1 point guard from Wichita State University could get a four-year deal worth somewhere between $80-$100 million which Toronto can afford to pay him that kind of deal since they have cap space.
But with the 2021 free agency have players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, DeMar DeRozan, and Victor Oladipo available to sign with any team. The Raptors would want to spend all of their cap space next year rather than use it all this year.
Fred VanVleet also said on The Old Man & The Three podcast that he would like to have more of a lead role with whatever team he signs with.
"“I’m 26, I’m only four years in but I feel like I’m on the verge of blossoming even more with more of a lead role and just taking more responsibility in my game,” he said. “So all of those things factor into it but at the end of the day it’s not purely numbers but the numbers do play a big part and I just want to feel my value reciprocated from the other end.”"
With Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam being the focal point of the Raptors, VanVleet may want to go to another team to find that leading role.
With that said, here are some potential replacements for Fred VanVleet who can fill the void of his role.
This is the easiest replacement for the Raptors because Norman Powell is still under contract with the team for at least two more years.
Powell is coming off this season averaging a career-high 16 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 1.3 APG. He was in the starting lineup for 26 out of 52 games, so he was the sixth man off the bench.
If VanVleet leaves Toronto, Powell can take that the starting shooting guard role and hopefully take that next step.
He will still average around 16 PPG and his 28.4 minutes per game from last season should increase around 32. So, he will get more touches and opportunities this season.