Fred VanVleet isn’t going anywhere.
Despite interest from multiple teams around the league, VanVleet has decided to remain with the Toronto Raptors. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the 26-year-old has agreed to a four-year, $85 million deal with the club that took a chance on him in 2016.
This deal is incredible for VanVleet, who went undrafted out of Wichita State. He earned his stripes on the Raptors’ G League squad before working his way up to the big club.
It was critical for Toronto to bring back one of its biggest contributors in VanVleet, who stepped up in a big way after the departure of Kawhi Leonard last season. The 26-year-old averaged 17.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game in his first season as the team’s starter while shooting 42.3 percent from the field and 39 percent from deep.
The Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns were expected to pursue VanVleet in free agency, but now that’s not an option. Some of those teams could’ve potentially paid him more, but Toronto is in a better position to succeed in the future, and that likely played a role in VanVleet’s decision to stay put.
Earlier this month, VanVleet made his intentions about getting paid a large sum of money known, saying, “I won a championship and now it’s time to cash out.”
He certainly did cash out, and now the Raptors can focus on bringing in talent in other areas.
Erin Walsh is a Boston sports fan through and through. Although many think Boston sports fans are insufferable, Erin tries to see things from a neutral perspective. Her passion is hockey, and she believes defense wins championships. In addition to covering sports for Yardbarker, she covers Boston sports for NBC Sports Boston. Follow her on Twitter @ewalsh90