3. Fred VanVleet
VanVleet is already one of the best defending guards in the league, and with new rules meant to stop players from using non-basketball plays to draw fouls now in place, his impact on defense could be even bigger this season.
If the Raptors make the playoffs, I think VanVleet can at least have a shot at making the All-Defensive First Team. He will have to knock off Jrue Holiday or Ben Simmons, who made the team last season, to earn a spot. It won’t be easy, but we’ve seen crazier things happen. He’s a strong and fearless defender that isn’t afraid to guard both guard positions.
The biggest improvement, however, will come on the offensive end. We know he’s capable of scoring 54 points in a game, but can he be more efficient?
Fred VanVleet must become a more effective scorer.
Now, let’s assume his shooting percentages rise slightly above his season averages of 39% from the field and 36% from 3-point range and he gets a slightly larger amount of shots. If this happens, we could see VanVleet average around 22 points per game.
Considering he shot below his career averages and still scored 19.6 points last season, VanVleet is in a great position this year to significantly raise his scoring.
If VanVleet is allowed to play his usual brand of tough defense, raises his shooting percentages back to his career average of 42%, and puts the Raptors above .500 by the midway point, he could make his first All-Star Team.