The Toronto Raptors have been heading into this offseason hoping that they would be able to find a way to keep free agent guard Fred VanVleet in town. Big offers were expected to come in from the New York Knicks and possibly the Phoenix Suns, but things have changed.
According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, VanVleet is “very likely” to end up re-signing with the Raptors.
VanVleet returning to the Raptors would be a very wise decision for both parties involved. Kyle Lowry and VanVleet form a lethal back-court. If they can retain him, the Raptors will once again be in serious contention in the Eastern Conference.
Over the last couple of years, VanVleet has been coming into his own. He has gone from being a solid role player to be a borderline star.
Last season with the Raptors, VanVleet ended up averaging 17.6 points per game to go along with 6.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds. He shot 41.3 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 39 percent of his three-point attempts.
At just 26 years old, he is entering his prime and still has room to grow. His fit in the Nick Nurse system is perfect and leaving that system would be a risk. Sticking around on a lucrative deal would be the best move VanVleet could possibly make.
This is great news for the Raptors. Things could still change and free agency can get crazy, but for now it appears that they will be able to retain their starting back-court.
Expect to see Fred VanVleet and the Raptors come to an agreement fairly early in free agency. The Knicks could try to shake things up, but the Raptors and VanVleet have a great relationship and that isn’t likely to change.