Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) shoots in front of Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) shoots in front of Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

VanVleet staying with Raptors on 4-year deal: AP source

VanVleet’s deal was the second major development for the Raptors in two days

Fred VanVleet bet on himself. It paid off.

VanVleet agreed Saturday to a four-year, $85 million contract to remain with the Toronto Raptors, a person with direct knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract remains unsigned.

The fourth year of the contract is at VanVleet’s option, the person said.

The undrafted guard from Wichita State has played a huge role in the Raptors’ recent successes, most importantly their run to the 2019 NBA championship. He has set career bests in scoring by wide margins in each of the last three seasons, that number rising to 17.6 points per game this past season.

Keeping VanVleet was of major importance to the Raptors, who have won at least 50 games in each of the last five seasons — by far the longest current streak in the NBA. Milwaukee has a two-year such streak, and the reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers reached the 50-win mark last season.

It also fulfilled a VanVleet prophecy: He famously went undrafted four years ago, then passed on some low-money deals that he figured wouldn’t pan into much.

“I turned those down. I bet on myself,” VanVleet told friends and family on what would have been his draft night, a festive occasion that turned disappointing when the call from the NBA never came.

The Raptors brought him in on a summer-league deal, then a minimum deal, then gave him a two-year contract for $18 million two years later — and now gave him the full reward.

Kyle Lowry, the veteran point guard and longtime leader of the Raptors, has predicted that VanVleet will take over that role one day. The deal agreed to on Saturday only cements that sort of thinking.

“He’s going to be rewarded,” Lowry said after the Raptors were eliminated with a Game 7 loss to Boston in this past season’s Eastern Conference semifinals. “To me, that means the world that he can take care of his family and take care of his family at a high level.”

That’s no longer in doubt.

Free agency opened in the NBA on Friday evening and VanVleet was one of the top available names. The Lakers’ Anthony Davis remains unsigned though is expected to remain with the defending champions, and Gordon Hayward’s future was another of the top questions remaining in the league as Day 2 of free agency began Saturday.

VanVleet’s deal was the second major development for the Raptors in two days. On Friday, the team announced that it would begin this season by calling Tampa, Florida, home because of travel issues related to the coronavirus pandemic — specifically the challenge of getting NBA teams over a U.S.-Canada border that is closed to nonessential travel.

In other matters Saturday:

ATLANTA

The Hawks added guard Kris Dunn on a two-year contract worth $10 million, a person with knowledge of the move told AP. That move came after Atlanta also landed Danilo Gallinari on Friday to a three-year contract.

MIAMI

Moe Harkless, who was briefly — on paper, anyway — a member of the Heat in July 2019 before getting moved as part of the trade that brought Jimmy Butler to Miami, is now with the Heat and for real this time.

Harkless agreed to a $3.6 million contract, a person with knowledge told AP. For now, the Heat intend to use their biannual exception to land Harkless, who averaged 5.6 points in 62 games last season with the Los Angeles Clippers and New York.

___

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

NBA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province may consider a regional approach to loosening COVID-19 restrictions if numbers continue to decline. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province further easing health restrictions

Numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care has dropped dramatically, says premier

Government of Alberta COVID-19 Aggregate Data Map. Screen Grab/ https://www.alberta.ca/stats/covid-19-alberta-statistics.htm#geospatial
City of Wetaskiwin under 10 active cases; single active case in County

Active COVID-19 cases in the City and County of Wetaskiwin continue to drop.

File photo
Alberta’s central zone has 670 active cases

301 new cases identified Sunday

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

A ” Justice for Jeff” T-shirt. (Photo submitted)
Rally to be held outside Red Deer courthouse for slain Ponoka man

Sentencing for accused charged with manslaughter with a firearm set for March 4

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Time to check the mail: Every household to receive a Canada Post postcard this spring

Postcard can be mailed for free to any address in Canada

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

People line up outside a vaccine clinic as seniors wait to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton Alta, on Friday February 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Health Services head sorry for glitches in vaccine booking system for seniors

AHS president said technical issues have been fixed and a virtual waiting room is in place

Vandalism is shown on Alberta NDP MLA Janis Irwin’s constituency office in Edmonton in this handout photo on Saturday, February 27, 2021. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney quickly condemned vandalism at an Opposition legislature member Janis Irwin’s Edmonton office after the MLA posted pictures showing her front window spray-painted with the words “Antifa Liar.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Janis Irwin *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

Edmonton MLA Janis Irwin posted pictures showing the front window spray-painted with the words ‘Antifa Liar’

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Most Read