Free agent guard Fred VanVleet has decided to re-sign a four-year, $85 million contract with the Toronto Raptors, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. VanVleet entered the offseason as an unrestricted free agent. He had spent the first four season of his NBA career with the Raptors. VanVleet had previously signed a two-year, $18 million deal with Toronto in 2018.
VanVleet, 26, was an undrafted free agent out of Wichita State, where he played all four years. He spent time in the G League before signing a multi-year deal with the Raptors. VanVleet helped Toronto win its first championship in 2019, defeating the Golden State Warriors in six games. He had a breakout season in 2019-20, averaging a career-high 17.6 points per game in 54 starts. VanVleet also had career marks of 6.6 assists per game while shooting 39 percent from the 3-point line.
It had been reported earlier in the weekend that the Raptors were hopeful VanVleet would re-up with the franchise on a deal similar to Pacers PG Malcolm Brogdon. That’s exactly what FVV will get and the Raptors get to keep one of their key backcourt pieces. Signing VanVleet long-term was crucial with Kyle Lowry’s future uncertain. Lowry has one year remaining on his deal at a cap hit of $30 million. There’s a chance the Raptors re-sign Lowry as well next offseason, but with FVV, losing Lowry isn’t as big a blow.
Now, the Masai Ujiri can focus his attention on free agent PF Serge Ibaka, who has been talking to interested teams since Friday at 6 p.m. ET. The Raptors are also trying to get Ibaka back on board for when the season starts in Tampa, where the Raptors will play their regular-season games in 2020-21. The likelihood of Ibaka re-signing with the Raptors becomes more and more prevalent as free agency gets older, since we’ve seen plenty of teams signing veteran PFs to deals.
Fantasy Basketball Analysis
Fantasy basketball managers are likely rejoicing with the news of Fred VanVleet returning to Toronto. FVV was one of the top free agents in this year’s class with multiple teams expressing interest prior to NBA free agency. However, he’s returning back to the Raptors where he had a career-year last season and may become the team’s starting point guard soon.
Last season, VanVleet scored a career-high 16.6 points per game and shot 39 percent from three-point range on 6.9 attempts per game. We should expect to see similar numbers next year with the Raptors’ roster staying intact for the most part.