VanVleet, Raptors opted against long-term deal this summer: report

Jan 8 2023, 8:13 pm

The Toronto Raptors and Fred VanVleet reportedly held contract discussions this past summer.

But per reports from Sportsnet’s Michael Grange and TSN’s Josh Lewenberg, the two sides had a “mutual decision” to not sign the $114-million deal on the table, the maximum allowable for the 28-year-old point guard prior to this season.

VanVleet currently is in the third year of a four-year, $80-million deal, but has a player option to opt out after this season and potentially hit free agency.

“In terms of what VanVleet will be looking for on the open market, the four-year, $130 million deal that Tyler Herro got last fall is expected to be the baseline,” Lewenberg reported yesterday.

In 2021-22, VanVleet launched his game to new heights, as he averaged 20.3 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in 65 games in his first season without Kyle Lowry, as he was selected to play in his first All-Star game.

VanVleet has averaged 18.8 points, 6.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 31 games this season, with one of his most glaring issues being a career-low .325 shooting percentage from three-point range.

ā€œI think itā€™s a big drop off from where I was, an all-star calibre point guard, to where I am now, but I think itā€™s pretty situational too with where we are as a team and an organization, trying to figure out what’s the best way to maximize the most out of this team,” VanVleet said on a recent episode of JJ Redick’s Old Man & The Three podcast. “I got a lot of other responsibilities other than just scoring the ball, so Iā€™m doing a lot and that shooting has been up, and it been down way more than I would like it to be.”Ā 

ā€œIā€™m the same guy that can give you 30 on any given night, or 39 in back-to-back games against the best or whatever, but there have been way more bad games than Iā€™m accustomed to having for my standards,ā€ VanVleet added to Redick.

No other members of the Raptors or the coaching staff have yet to address the report or VanVleet’s contract status in recent weeks.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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