Worse: Losing Fred VanVleet
The Raptors will benefit from the loss of VanVleet in certain areas, as his inefficiency and propensity to dominate the ball contributed to the poor half-court offense from last year. However, there is a reason why Houston saw fit to give him such an expensive three-year contract.
VanVleet will take about 20 points and eight assists per night with him, and the timely defensive plays both on-ball and off-ball will also be missing. A vocal leader and presence in the locker room, VanVleet has an intangible quality that isn’t always on the free agent market.
Fred VanVleet leaving the Toronto Raptors stings.
While Schroder is a quality player, asking him to be a like-for-like replacement for VanVleet could have some seriously disastrous results. Barnes can be as good a passer as VanVleet, but he will need to show Rajakovic, the Raptors, and their fans that he has made strides as a scorer in half-court sets.
The price tag for VanVleet was eye-watering and a wise decision to bypass, but fans shouldn’t retroactively act like he did nothing of value last season. If the Raptors can’t replace or improve upon his reduction, they have no chance of making any sort of noise in the postseason.