Report: Fred VanVleet, Raptors Appear Open to Resuming Contract Talks at Season's End

Doric SamJanuary 17, 2023

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 16: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors celebrates his three point shot during the second half at Madison Square Garden on January 16, 2023 in New York City. The Toronto Raptors defeated the New York Knicks 123-121 in overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet can become an unrestricted free agent if he declines his $22.8 million player option for the 2023-24 season, but he reportedly is open to staying put.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the feeling is mutual even though he and Toronto couldn't agree on a new deal ahead of the current season.

"Both sides appear open to resuming contract dialogue at season's end, sources said, after there was no significant traction on an extension this past offseason," Fischer wrote.

Fischer noted VanVleet is "expected" to decline his 2023-24 player option and hit the open market. The 28-year-old addressed the situation earlier this month, saying that he would prefer not to speak about his contract during the season.

"I will never speak on my free agency or contract negotiations, especially conversations between me and management. ... But I was never made a formal offer," VanVleet told reporters on Jan. 8.

VanVleet's production has slightly dropped this season after he was selected to his first All-Stare Game in 2022. He is averaging 18.2 points while shooting 37.6 percent overall and 32.8 percent from three-point range. Last season, he posted a career-high 20.3 points per game while shooting 40.3 percent overall and 37.7 percent from beyond the arc.

At 20-24, the Raptors sit in last place in the Atlantic Division and could be looking to make some changes to the roster as the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline approaches. Toronto has multiple coveted players that would recoup substantial assets, including VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr.

While the Raptors don't have a long history of making major moves during the season, that could change this year.

"They've told teams they're going to do something," an assistant general manager told Fischer.