The Toronto Raptors took a step back in the 2021-22 NBA season when they missed the NBA Playoffs after making the postseason cut in the prior campaign. Nevertheless, if the Raptors are going to make it back there in 2023, guard Fred VanVleet will definitely have to be one of the major reasons why. VanVleet is arguably the best player on the Raptors team and everything he’s done so far with the team suggests that he will have a key role in Toronto until at least the expiration of his current deal with them, which runs until 2024.

During Monday’s NBA Media Day, Raptors President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri was asked about VanVleet’s chances for an extension deal, with the former Wichita State Shockers star eligible for one until Oct. 17.

Via Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports:

“Masai Ujiri won’t get into specifics but thinks they’re ‘in a good place.’ He said they’ve had good conversations with Fred and his reps. ‘Whether it’s now or later on, Fred is beloved to us… Hopefully we’ll figure (it out).'”

There’s not a lot to unpack from that statement except that at least Fred VanVleet and the Raptors’ front office are seemingly keeping the ball rolling on the negotiation table.

VanVleet hit pay dirt in 2020 when he inked a massive four-year $85 million with the Raptors after impressing in the 2018-19 campaign in which he was among the most productive members of Toronto’s squad that went all the way and won the NBA championship.

Fred VanVleet  is coming off an All-Star season wherein he averaged 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game, while also being second on the team in both Win Shares (6.7) and VORP (3.5).