Fred VanVleet, Raptors Agree to 4-Year, $85M Contract with Player Option

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2020

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 25:  Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors looks on during the second half of an NBA game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Scotiabank Arena on February 25, 2020 in Toronto, Canada.  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 Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors and combo guard Fred VanVleet reached an agreement Saturday on a new contract.

Brian Jungreis, VanVleet's agent, told Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium the deal will be worth $85 million over four years with a player option for the final season.

VanVleet steadily developed from a little-used reserve into an impact starter over the past four years with the Raptors. It was a growth process that included a key role off the bench during the team's run to the 2018-19 NBA championship.

The 26-year-old Wichita State product is coming off his best statistical season. He averaged 17.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 39.0 percent from three-point range, though his offensive efficiency has room for improvement after he shot 41.3 percent from the field.

VanVleet said during an appearance on Sportsnet's Tim and Sid in October he was hopeful of remaining with Toronto but wanted to keep his options open.

"I've been here. This is the team that gave me my chance, I think we understand that. I'm not gonna speak too much on free agency this year just cuz it's a business and I have to do what's best for me and my family," he said. "But, I mean, I've been on record about how I feel about this place. This organization knows how I feel about this place. So in a perfect world, we know what would happen."

His notable impact at both ends last season—he ranked 10th among all shooting guards in ESPN's real plus-minus with positive offensive and defensive rating—put him in line to negotiate a new contract at a perfect time in his career arc.

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VanVleet's desire to remain with Toronto paired with the fact he emerged as a valuable contributor for the organization since going undrafted in 2016 made the new deal no surprise.

He'll continue to play a crucial role in the Raptors backcourt, and further improvement in his shot selection and efficiency would allow him to reach an All-Star level.