The Toronto Raptors have re-signed free agent point guard Fred VanVleet to a four-year, $85-million deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The fourth year of his contract includes a player option.
VanVleet was the top point guard on the market, and drew interest from several teams but has ultimately decided on staying with the Raptors. He sat out the first night of free agency, before taking meetings with teams on Saturday in Chicago near his hometown of Rockford.
Retaining the 26-year-old was Toronto’s main priority this offseason. VanVleet first joined the Raptors as a training camp invite after going undrafted following four successful years in college, and has shown improvement every season. VanVleet won the G-League championship with the Raptors 905 as a rookie, emerged as the leading figure of their bench unit in 2018, was a vital contributor to the championship in 2019, and is coming off a career year in which he averaged 17.6 points, 6.6 assists and 1.9 steals.
The deal for VanVleet mirrors a similar contract signed by Malcolm Brogdon with the Indiana Pacers last season, and makes VanVleet the 14th highest paid point guard in the league. His contract still allows the Raptors to create maximum cap space to chase a star free agent next summer, although some salary shedding moves would also have to be made.
Having secured VanVleet, the Raptors can turn their focus towards sorting out their center rotation with Serge Ibaka, Chris Boucher, and Marc Gasol all on the market. Ibaka is reportedly drawing interest from upwards of 10 teams, including some offers worth in excess of eight figures per season, while Gasol is perhaps a reserve option for the Lakers.
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