Fred VanVleet has spent four years in the NBA playing for the Toronto Raptors. The guard has developed into a prominent role player and has shown why he deserves to be in the league. After the 2019-20 NBA season, VanVleet became an unrestricted free agent.
He’s one player to keep an eye out for during free agency, and one thing that VanVleet wants to do is get paid.
A look at Fred VanVleet’s career with the Raptors
After a successful college career at Wichita State, VanVleet signed with the Raptors to play in the 2016 NBA Summer League. His performance during the summer league allowed him to earn a spot on the Raptors team for the upcoming season. During his rookie season, he spent time with the Raptors and the Raptors 905 of the D League. VanVleet played a significant role with the Raptors 905, and they won the D League Championship in 2017. He appeared in 37 games during the 2016-17 NBA regular season and averaged 2.9 points.
In his second season, VanVleet saw a lot more action on the court with the Raptors. He served as the backup point guard to Kyle Lowry. The Raptors were one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference during the 2017-18 season. VanVleet appeared in 76 games off the bench and averaged 8.6 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.4 rebounds.
In his third season, VanVleet played a big role off the bench as the Raptors advanced to the 2019 NBA Finals and took on the Golden State Warriors. During the finals, VanVleet put in quality minutes for the Raptors, who were able to defeat the Warriors to win their first NBA title in franchise history. VanVleet went from being undrafted to becoming an NBA champion.
Fred VanVleet put together an impressive 2019-20 season
After coming off an NBA title, the Raptors looked to make another trip to the NBA Finals. VanVleet became a starter during the 2019-20 season, and he was one of the Raptors top players throughout the season. In the season opener, VanVleet scored 34 points against the New Orleans Pelicans.
He continued to put together impressive performances as the season went on. When the NBA returned from being suspended due to the coronavirus, VanVleet continued to play at a high level. The Raptors advanced to the playoffs and lost to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. During the first round of the playoffs, the Raptors swept the Brooklyn Nets, and VanVleet finished with 30 points and 11 assists in Game 1 of the series. He became the first Raptor to record 30 points and 10 plus assists in a playoff game. He finished the season averaging 17.6 points, 6.6 assists, and 3.8 rebounds.
Fred VanVleet believes he deserves to get paid in free agency
VanVleet has shown that he’s a prominent player in the league and that he can make an impact on the court. Before the 2018-19 season, VanVleet signed a two-year contract with the Raptors worth $18 million. Now he’s an unrestricted free agent, and he’s ready to cash out.
Recently, VanVleet appeared on JJ Reddick’s podcast, ‘The Old Man and the Three,’ and talked about his future. “I’m trying to get paid, man,” he said. “I’m not shy about that. I don’t have to tell people that I value winning. Like, just look at my story, do your research, I’ve never been on a losing team in my entire life. … I won a championship and now it’s time to cash out. I’m 26. … I’m only four years in (to his NBA career) but I feel like I’m on the verge of blossoming even more, with more of a lead role.”
There’s no telling where VanVleet will land for the upcoming season, but one thing is certain, he wants to get paid. You have to think the Raptors will try to do what they can to keep VanVleet there, but other teams will certainly be in the mix and try to acquire the talented guard.