Kyle Lowry, Raptors teammates congratulate All-Star Fred VanVleet

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 21: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 21: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors were able to send one of their stars to Cleveland for the All-Star game, as Fred VanVleet became just the fourth undrafted player in the modern era (and the first since Ben Wallace in 2006) to earn this prestigious honor. Based on his numbers, it’s hard to argue against his inclusion.

VanVleet is averaging 21.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 7.1 assists for a Raptors team that has been much better than most media prognosticators assumed they would be. VanVleet came into the year with tons of expectations, and he’s delivered on all of them.

With Kyle Lowry making the move to Miami this offseason, VanVleet was expected to replace him as both the two-way leader on the court and source of emotional stability off of it. He’s followed the Lowry playbook for success perfectly, and it earned him a vote of confidence from No. 7 himself.

In Lowry’s postgame press conference, he took the time to shout out his “young buck” in VanVleet after making the All-Star game for the first time in his career. VanVleet needs some silverware to fully adopt the Lowry persona, but he’s been able to hit the ground running as the team’s primary offensive creator.

Current and former Toronto Raptors congratulated Fred VanVleet.

The first thing that Pascal Siakam did after Toronto’s win against the Bulls was go to Twitter and hype up his teammate. Siakam signed his tweet with VanVleet’s “Bet on Yourself” mantra and the dice emoji that has become a staple of VanVleet’s tweets.

Norman Powell, who played alongside VanVleet for a half-decade prior to his trade to Portland, also made sure VanVleet felt the love from the Pacific Northwest. Powell might be a Blazer right now, but VanVleet and the Raptors are still very close to his heart.

Before the Bulls game, DeMar DeRozan came over to the Raptors’ layup line and gave VanVleet his props for finally making it to the All-Star Game. This came just a few minutes after all of VanVleet’s teammates mobbed him at center court when the announcement became official.

VanVleet went from a player that was plying his trade down in the G League to a legitimate game-changer that can make plays on both ends of the floor. The Raptors live and die on his performances, and he was finally treated as the elite player he has become this season.

Hopefully, VanVleet puts on a show and keeps showing the NBA world that he is not someone who is to be trifled with.

Next. 3 reasons Pascal Siakam is an All-Star. dark