Raptors let Fred VanVleet join Rockets with 3-year, $130 million deal
What do Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Ja Morant, and Anthony Davis all have in common? They all have a lower average annual value on their current contracts than VanVleet, who got a max deal from a Rockets team who needed to spend money. Only Steph Curry makes more per year as a point guard.
Houston needed to spend some money while also bringing in a star that can help lead what is a very young group of core players. Given VanVleet’s championship pedigree and his defensive skills, he should be of service to Ime Udoka and his revitalization project in Houston.
The Toronto Raptors let Fred VanVleet go.
The Raptors may have wanted VanVleet back, and there were certain advantages that would come with bringing him back, but there’s no way Toronto could have avoided the luxury tax and built a competitive team while giving VanVleet the GDP of a small island nation.
At the end of the day, VanVleet is an injury-prone player who was going to command an irresponsible amount of money to retain, all while obstructing the growth of Scottie Barnes. VanVleet’s legacy as a Raptor is still quite strong, but the time for a departure was here.