1. Fred VanVleet, Houston Rockets
VanVleet’s return to Toronto is going to be a marquee event. While fans will never forget his contributions to the franchise’s lone championship team and the fact his name is plastered all over the team’s record books, some are not too quick to forgive the sour way in which his tenure with Toronto ended.
VanVleet, who signed a three-year max deal with the Rockets, saw some of the goodwill he built up with the fanbase erode in the final years of his tenure. While he will almost assuredly be treated with a warm smattering of applause and appreciation in Scotiabank Arena, that won’t diminish the intensity that will appear on the court.
Fred VanVleet against the Toronto Raptors is must-see TV.
VanVleet will be coming to town with a very young, albeit very talented, Rockets team that would like nothing more than to take home a victory. Not only would VanVleet get to show off in front of Ujiri, but Jalen Green would take home a win against fellow 2021 Top 4 draftee Scottie Barnes.
Even with the UDFA legend VanVleet being an incredibly important part of the tapestry of this franchise, the praise he will garner could be drowned out by a chorus of boos if he and the Rockets end up marching into his old stomping grounds and showing up his former boss.