Title: What Fred VanVleet’s new deal means for the Raptors now, next summer and beyond
Date: November 21, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about the Raptors re-signing Fred VanVleet and all of the implications – cap, roster, vibes – related to it.
Fred VanVleet has bet on himself at every turn. The Toronto Raptors have continued betting on him, too. On Saturday, they pushed a heavy stack to the middle of the NBA free agency table with a four-year, $85-million deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The deal, which contains a player option for the fourth season, locks in VanVleet as a key piece of the Raptors’ core for the foreseeable future. VanVleet’s deal runs through 2024, alongside Pascal Siakam’s, creating the baseline for the team’s next era. OG Anunoby is another part of that core, whether on a rookie-scale extension between now and Dec. 21 or on a new deal in restricted free agency next summer. With Kyle Lowry only having one year left on his deal and Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol both free agents now, the Raptors’ can move forward with VanVleet, Siakam and Anunoby as the foundation they’ll be building upon for their next competitive window.
This was always the likeliest outcome, in a thin market due to limited cap space and a paucity of good teams with this kind of financial flexibility, plus VanVleet’s relationship with the organization. The Raptors under president Masai Ujiri have shown a consistent appreciation for their homegrown talent and it would have been a minor surprise if VanVleet went elsewhere over a difference of a few million.