Fred VanVleet keeps it real on Toronto’s brutal season playing in Tampa

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The Toronto Raptors just wrapped up a miserable 2020-21 season in which they finished with a record of 27-45. By the end of it, the Raptors were effectively tanking, sitting most of their top players and going with the younger guys in order to secure a better spot heading into the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery.

The Raptors had to play all their home games in Tampa because of COVID-19, and they dealt with a number of health issues (COVID and otherwise) throughout the season. The club saw a streak of seven straight years in the playoffs come to an end thanks to this nightmarish campaign.

Guard Fred VanVleet opened up after the season-ending loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. VanVleet kept it real:

This is definitely a common sentiment throughout the roster. While the Raptors got some support in Tampa, it wasn’t the same as Toronto, especially once fans were back in the stands.

It will be an especially huge bummer if Kyle Lowry has played his last game in Toronto as a member of the Raptors. The guard was nearly traded earlier this season and is set to become a free agent in the offseason. While nothing is set in stone just yet, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Lowry changes teams.

VanVleet praised Lowry and president Masai Ujiri:

“Kyle Lowry is obviously the greatest Raptor of all time and No. 2 might be Masai…He paid me twice, so you’ll never hear me say anything bad about him.”

VanVleet played 52 games in 2020-21, averaging 19.6 points, 6.3 assists and 4.2 rebounds in 36.5 minutes per game. He shot 38.9% from the field and 36.6% on 3-pointers.

The 27-year-old last played on May 6 before he was shut down for the remainder of the season. He’s clearly looking forward to playing next season back in Toronto. Even if Lowry leaves, the Raptors should be much better in 2021-22.

Suns, E'Twaun Moore, Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Jazz