The Toronto Raptors have the sixth best odds (+2200) to win a second straight NBA title this year. The reigning champs hold the second seed in the Eastern Conference despite being banged up all year but trail the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics on DraftKings sportsbook. While most of the Raptors appear to be healthy, not much has been said about Fred VanVleet since he injured his shoulder in February. He’ll be a key piece to Toronto’s playoff run, so his status will be important moving forward.
Not much has been said about VanVleet since March. He missed six straight games since injuring his shoulder. While some could assume he’s fine and ready to go, Toronto could be keeping the severity of his injury under raps. Key players like Kelly Oubre Jr. and LaMarcus Aldridge have already been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to injuries, and VanVleet could be next. At this point, it’s not safe to assume he’s good to go.
VanVleet was essential on both ends of the floor for Toronto last year — especially because of his stingy defense against Stephen Curry in the NBA Finals. He’s grown even more this season as Kyle Lowry’s backcourt partner. He ranks third on the team in points per game (17.6) and second in assists (6.6).
Norman Powell would likely step into the starting lineup if VanVleet can’t play. That move would cause Toronto to lose significant depth and make its climb to the final stage much harder.
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