3. Fred VanVleet must improve
VanVleet may have made his first All-Star team this season, but the robust guard provided a telling and insightful quote to those Toronto fans who may have gotten swept up in the revelry of his ascent. VanVleet acknowledged that he is a somewhat limited scorer who must step up next year.
That doesn’t mean that this 6-0 star is done setting records up north, but it does reinforce a hard truth Raptors fans may have forgotten this past year. VanVleet is not a superstar point guard at this moment in time. He is a very good one, an All-Star even, and one of the best in the league.
But he’s not an All-NBA-caliber talent. He’s not Kyle Lowry.
Will Fred VanVleet get better for the Toronto Raptors?
Luckily for the team, VanVleet signed a multi-year contract extension with the Raptors before he had his breakout stretch to start this season. While the team is still paying him more than $20 million annually for the next few years, the deal is somewhat economical. VanVleet could make that contract look like a bargain if he becomes a more varied scorer.
VanVleet is an integral part of this team’s future, but it’s essential to be realistic about what he can offer a playoff team. As a shooter and defender, he’s elite. If he becomes a more varied offensive player in the paint, Toronto will have a chance of reaching that contender tier.