Fred VanVleet Says 'In a Perfect World' He Will Re-Sign with Raptors in 2020

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2019

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18:  Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors handles the ball on offense against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on October 18, 2019 in New York, New York. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Fred VanVleet expressed a willingness to stay with the Toronto Raptors when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

VanVleet said Wednesday on Sportsnet's Tim & Sid he doesn't want to make any declarative statements because he has a number of things to consider before his final decision, but he also maintained he'd like to remain in Toronto.

"But, I mean, I've been on record about how I feel about this place," the fourth-year guard said. "This organization knows how I feel about this place. So in a perfect world, we know what would happen."

The Raptors gave Kyle Lowry a one-year, $30 million extension to keep him under contract through the 2020-21 season, and they signed Pascal Siakam to a four-year, $129.9 million max deal. The team has shown a willingness to keep its current roster together.

Money shouldn't be an issue for the team. Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka are both coming off the books in the summer, while the quartet of Siakam, Norman Powell, Dewan Hernandez and Matt Thomas are the only players under contract through 2021.

But a thin free-agent class could make VanVleet's value climb so high that re-signing him becomes unfeasible relative to his likely on-court returns.

CBSSports.com's Colin Ward-Henninger ranked VanVleet as the 15th-best player overall and second-best point guard available in the offseason. 

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Some of the free agents ahead of him are effectively unattainable because they're either restricted free agents (Brandon Ingram, Bogdan Bogdanovic) or have lucrative player options they can trigger (Andre Drummond, Gordon Hayward, Otto Porter Jr.).

VanVleet certainly knows what's at stake this season. He had 34 points, five rebounds and seven assists in the Raptors' 130-122 overtime win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. With a big year, he could command a huge contract even though he doesn't have a strong collective body of work.