2. Fred VanVleet
Despite an extremely productive college career, VanVleet still went undrafted due to his small stature and concerns about his long-term potential. The Raptors saw something in him that prompted them to bring him in as an undrafted free agent and eventually make him one of the best undrafted players ever.
A dominant 3-point shooter that nailed over 40% of his attempts, VanVleet’s ability to generate offense for himself and others forced the Raptors to carve out a role for him on the big-league squad. As a result of that play, VanVleet worked his way onto the postseason roster.
Toronto Raptors: The development of Fred VanVleet is amazing.
VanVleet has since graduated from the role of super-sub sparkplug and emerged as an All-Star point guard capable of leading a team no one thought would be anything to 48 wins and a playoff spot. If Toronto bungled his development, there’s no telling what may have happened to his career.
VanVleet was not the most efficient scorer in college, but Raptors 905’s attention to detail helped him quickly rise from the ranks of the undrafted to the rotation. While success stories of VanVleet’s level are few and far between, it shows how excellent this front office is at identifying and nurturing talent.