Raptors talent Fred VanVleet expresses willingness to remain in Toronto despite coaching change
The Toronto Raptor will be forced into a conundrum this offseason, choosing which pieces to keep and which to say “so long” to after another failure of a postseason, despite holding the No. 1 seed in the East.
A point guard, Fred VanVleet, who took over Cory Joseph’s position as the backup for Kyle Lowry, is coming into restricted free agency, likely bound to warrant a $10-12 million annual offer for his services over the summer.
But the firing of Dwane Casey, who entrusted Fred VanVleet with his minutes in the rotation, haven’t derailed the Wichita State product from remaining loyal to the team.
“Nothing’s changed for me,” said VanVleet during an appearance in TSN’s Hoops Podcast. “[Dwane Casey] was a big part of that, just my familiarity and comfort level and obviously, I was playing a lot of minutes, and, you know, a coach could come in and it may not work out that way. But I can’t worry about that.”
If the 6-footer wasn’t clear the first time around, he doubled down on his take soon after — expressing hopefulness that the franchise is willing to retain him for this upcoming season.
“I’m going to be loyal to the organization that gave me a chance and I love the city of Toronto, I love the fans, I love the people here, and I would love to be back,” said VanVleet. “So hopefully it can work out. Obviously, you’d like to be wanted. You want all parties to find a way to make it work. And that’s what we’re gonna shoot for. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.”
The Raptors didn’t pick up his option for this 2018-19 season and therefore will have to compete with other suitors if they hope to keep them, which would turn out a costly gamble, given that he was slated to make a mere $1.7 million this upcoming season.