The Toronto Raptors may not be the most quotable team in the league, but star point guard Fred VanVleet is occasionally willing to make headlines by giving his unfiltered thoughts. The All-Star point guard was in the headlines again for defending his teammate and reminiscing on the bygone Kawhi Leonard era.
On former teammate Serge Ibaka’s “How Hungry Are You?” YouTube show, VanVleet was asked some very tough questions about Scottie Barnes and what has transpired in Toronto over the last few years. His responses made this one of the best episodes of the series from top to bottom.
On top of defending Barnes by saying that he would not include him in a trade to acquire Kevin Durant, VanVleet said that he believes losing in the bubble was harder than missing the playoffs. He cited the idea that his team was ready to win another championship, implying that things would have gone differently if Kawhi stayed.
“It was just a perfect group of individuals and we all understood, everybody had the right mindset for the roles,” VanVleet said. “I think definitely we would have won a few more.” What this franchise could have become with Leonard in the lineup long-term will continue to be one of the greatest what-ifs in NBA history, unfortunately.
More Raptors news
- Gary Trent Jr. scored 14 points and recorded seven rebounds after being moved to the bench in the win against Cleveland. Based on his latest quotes, he sounds to be on board with the move. “It is what it is,” Trent said. Any game, day in, day out, whatever coach’s game plan is, we’re going to follow it.”
- Raptors 905 has added former Orlando Magic guard Hassani Gravett, who will link back up with a former teammate in Jeff Dowtin. In eight games last year, Gravett averaged 6.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game while draining 42% of his 3-pointers. Expect him to play a big role moving forward.
- Former Raptors guard Norman Powell scored 32 points as the Los Angeles Clippers erased an 18-point deficit against the Portland Trail Blazers. 22 of those points came in the fourth quarter. It’s good to see Norm thriving in his role with LA.
- NBA referee Tony Brothers has been suspended one game for allegedly calling Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie a “motherf—–” during their home victory against the Raptors. This was a surprising slip-up for a ref who has been in the league for 28 years.