The Toronto Raptors will reportedly have some competition for Fred VanVleet’s services this offseason.
The 26-year-old VanVleet is garnering interest from numerous teams including the New York Knicks, according to multiple sources and confirmed by SNY’s Ian Begley.
“I don’t know how strong the Knicks’ interest in VanVleet is, but there was one report about New York preparing an offer of more than $20 million per season for the point guard,” Begley reported.
VanVleet is coming off a career season with the Raptors, averaging 17.6 points per game on 41% shooting and 39% 3-point shooting. He proved he could be a starting guard in the league and looked very impressive at times in the NBA’s bubble return.
Re-signing VanVleet is a “big priority” for the Raptors, president Masai Ujiri said during his end of year media availability. It’s expected Toronto will make a sizeable offer to VanVleet as soon as free agency begins, but anything more than $20 million per season is going to be tough for Toronto to manage while maintaining cap space for 2021, according to The Athletic’s Blake Murphy.
Retaining VanVleet could come at a cost for Toronto, who may have to depart with Norman Powell, the team’s third guard who is scheduled to make almost $10.9 million next season with a player option for 11.6 in 2021-22. Alternatively, the Raptors could try to go a little smaller next season, keeping VanVleet and Powell while saying goodbye to Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, the team’s two centres who are entering free agency this fall.