Raptors’ VanVleet Set to Decline $22M Option, Become Free Agent

We independently review everything we recommend based on our strict editorial guidelines. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn More

The Former Undrafted Free Agent May be the Most Sought After FA this Offseason

Fred VanVleet, the talented guard for the Toronto Raptors, is set to become a free agent this summer. According to sources, VanVleet has declined his player option for the next season, which was worth $22.8 million. While he hasn’t ruled out a return to Toronto, he is expected to be in high demand as one of the most sought-after guards in the market.

VanVleet Will be a Highly Coveted Free Agent

Several championship contenders are reportedly targeting VanVleet and would be open to exploring sign-and-trade options with the Raptors. This could provide flexibility for both parties involved in potential negotiations.

In addition to VanVleet, his backcourt teammate Gary Trent Jr. may also enter free agency. Trent Jr. has until Thursday to make a decision on his $18.6 million option for the 2023-24 season. The Raptors could face the challenge of retaining both guards or making crucial decisions regarding their future roster composition.

From Humble Beginnings to Bonafide Star

Fred VanVleet’s journey in the NBA has been nothing short of remarkable. Despite going undrafted in 2016, he quickly emerged as one of the league’s success stories. Initially playing a significant role off the bench, VanVleet made a name for himself during the Raptors’ championship run in 2019. His clutch shot-making against the Golden State Warriors earned him a Finals MVP vote.

Following that breakout performance, VanVleet transitioned into a starting role and secured a lucrative four-year, $85 million contract, marking the largest deal ever given to an undrafted player at the time. In the 2020-21 season, he continued to excel, averaging career-highs in points (20.3), assists (6.7), rebounds (4.4), and steals (1.7). These impressive numbers earned him his first All-Star appearance and solidified his status as one of the league’s premier guards.

VanVleet’s impact on the defensive end cannot be overlooked either. He led the NBA in deflections per game (3.8) and finished third in steals (1.8) during the last season, showcasing his tenacity and ability to disrupt opposing offenses.

As the offseason unfolds, the basketball world will closely monitor VanVleet’s free agency journey. Whether he remains with the Raptors or explores other opportunities, his skill set, leadership, and championship experience make him an enticing asset for any team looking to bolster their backcourt.