Considering the quaity and value he has brought to the squad, All-Star point guard Fred VanVleet has been quite a bargain for the Toronto Raptors. After signing a four-year, $85 million contract before the 2020-21 season, VanVleet could look to cash in ahead of 2022-23.
VanVleet is eligible for a three-year, $89 million extension this offseason, though he could earn a four-year deal close to the max at $114 million should he decline a player option. Neither deal should seem expensive for Raptors fans after years of watching VanVleet help carry this team.
VanVleet’s blend of tenacious defense and expert shooting finally culminated in an All-Star season, which could help drive up his contract value. While teams might be hovering as they try to throw their hat in the ring, VanVleet thinks that he will remain in Toronto for the remainder of his basketball life.
In an interview with Adam Laskaris of the Daily Hive, VanVleet said that playing with the Raptors is a “match made in heaven” before professing that he wants to spend his entire career north of the border. VanVleet said that he is “confident we’ll figure it out” when asked about his contract situation.
Fred VanVleet wants to stay with the Toronto Raptors.
The fact that VanVleet is even still in the league is a miracle, considering the difficult conditions he came from. An undersized point guard who went undrafted and was stuck behind a franchise legend in Kyle Lowry, VanVleet has proven himself to be the perfect successor.
VanVleet averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 assists per game while ranking near the top of the league in 3-pointers made, steals, and deflections. Those numbers are even more impressive when you consider that he piled them up while playing through multiple severe injuries.
The Raptors should be fairly active in free agency, but they need to show some restraint if they want all of their big names to stay together. Pascal Siakam also needs to be extended at some point, Gary Trent Jr. could hit the open market after this season due to a player option, and Scottie Barnes has an eventual megadeal coming.
The Raptors are in a very precarious situation, as they need to somehow add to the roster while keeping all of their best names well compensated. Luckily for them, it seems like VanVleet is more than willing to iron out a deal and remain in Canada for the remainder of his career.