Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Mere minutes after his Toronto Raptors snapped a three-game shedding streak with a 117-105 win over the Portland Path Blazers, Fred VanVleet opted to set the document straight about his pending contract scenario.

“I used to be by no means made a proper provide,” the Raptors guard instructed reporters. “There was by no means a proper provide made. It was a mutual determination made by either side that the good factor to do could be to attend it out.”

VanVleet was responding to a report from TSN’s Josh Lewenberg that claimed he had turned down an extension provide price roughly $114-million earlier than the beginning of the season, the utmost the Raptors may have provided him on the time.

The 28-year-old can turn out to be an unrestricted free agent as quickly as this summer time as he has a participant possibility for subsequent season price about $22.8-million.

Typical logic would counsel VanVleet would look to choose out and check out for a much bigger contract or no less than search for the $114-million provide that was reportedly provided to him. Nonetheless, only a season after having fun with an All-Star marketing campaign, VanVleet has had a down yr taking pictures the ball, connecting on simply 37.7 % of his makes an attempt from the sector and solely 32.9 % from three-point vary.

VanVleet not too long ago appeared on an episode of The Previous Man & The Three, hosted by former NBA sharpshooter J.J. Redick and Tommy Alter, the place he mentioned his struggles this season.

“Early on within the season there was undoubtedly an adjustment, I feel, from a stylistic level,” VanVleet stated. “Final yr all the things was free and straightforward and I feel I used to be extra of a focus of on-ball duties and having the ball the entire sport and having the ability to dictate the place I wish to go and this yr that’s modified a little bit bit.”

Regardless what the trigger is of what has been an off taking pictures stroke this season, it is smart that VanVleet will now wait till the top of the season to debate his contract.

For one, if he continues to battle and it’s changing into obvious he won’t get the sort of contract provide he might have been searching for as a free agent, he can choose in and make the identical annual common worth as what a five-year, $114-million provide could be anyway, after which attempt to restore his worth with a powerful 2023-24 marketing campaign.

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Moreover, along with his worth presumably decrease now than it was earlier than, it wouldn’t make a lot sense for VanVleet to look to re-open extension talks at this juncture of the season. He in all probability had a greater provide when it was first supposedly levied in entrance of him in comparison with what it could be now. For a person who has turn out to be synonymous with the time period “Wager on Your self,” it is smart that VanVleet would look to maximise his incomes potential, it doesn’t matter what.

Fred VanVleet is betting on himself as soon as once more, with rumours about his impending contract deadlock choosing up because the NBA commerce deadline quickly approaches. (Getty Pictures)

“I felt like I’ve outplayed that contract so far,” VanVleet instructed ESPN. “So simply attempting to get myself ready to place the playing cards of their arms. They bought to decide from a company standpoint.

“I like being right here. I like being a Raptor. I bought a fantastic relationship with (Raptors vice-chairman, president) Masai (Ujiri) and (basic supervisor) Bobby (Webster), so I am assured that we may discover (a deal). It is a fantastic partnership that we’ve got, so going ahead, I am not going to make it straightforward on them they usually’re not going to make it straightforward on me both, and that is the way in which it is going.”

After all, within the background of all this VanVleet contract scenario speak is the ever-growing shadow of the Feb. 9 NBA commerce deadline.

This chatter coming to mild a month earlier than the large day could be interpreted in no matter method chances are you’ll wish to learn the tea leaves of the Raptors’ deadline plans, however current intel from veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein means that the Raptors gained’t be trying to be sellers.

In his newest e-newsletter, Stein talked about that there wouldn’t be a “broad hearth sale” in Toronto, regardless of the engaging property – that features VanVleet – on the crew’s disposal to make use of in a commerce.

Not even Gary Trent Jr., the topic of many a commerce hearsay, is a certain factor to be dealt on the deadline, based on Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.

“I don’t assume it’s a certainty that they commerce (Trent),” Grange stated Tuesday on Sportsnet 590 the FAN. “I feel it’s a certainty that they’ll pay attention.”

There are many good arguments to make in favour of buying and selling Trent, and it’s protected to imagine that if the Raptors have been reportedly trying to lengthen VanVleet earlier than, they aren’t look to commerce him now, therefore why the leak of these preseason discussions popping out simply earlier than the deadline are so curious.

The Raptors aren’t a crew that leak plans a lot – regardless in the event that they materialize or not – and in letting the general public in on their pondering with VanVleet, it seems prefer it could possibly be a window into what their technique round Feb. 9 could possibly be.

In the event that they’re not trying to commerce VanVleet, then why commerce Pascal Siakam? Or O.G. Anunoby? And even Trent?

The core of this Raptors crew remains to be made up of proficient gamers, and with one of many best remaining schedules of their closing 42 video games, there’s definitely cause for the entrance workplace to stay assured within the course they’ve charted so far.

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