The Toronto Raptors have agreed to terms on a multi-year contract with undrafted free agent Fred VanVleet, Raptors Republic has learned.
Barring a last-minute change, the contract will contain a partial guarantee, and VanVleet will be in training camp with the team. It’s unclear at this point how much the guarantee is for, or when the deal may officially be signed.
Undrafted out of Wichita State in June, VanVleet has been with the Raptors at Las Vegas Summer League this week and has impressed with his composure running the offense and an improved 3-point stroke. Through three victories, he’s scored 19 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and dished five assists, drawing praise for his ability to prop up the second unit and change the momentum of a pair of narrow victories.
Ranked just outside the top-60 by most draftniks, VanVleet was viewed as a potential second-round selection. A four-year senior with plenty of tournament experience, his statistical profile suggested he could be an NBA backup, with a criminally low turnover rate and a very steady hand running an effective offense. The knocks on VanVleet are size (he’s 5-foot-11) and athleticism, but there are few players who play smarter, and most think his range will extend to the NBA 3-point line without much issue.
(We’ll have more on VanVleet tomorrow.)
If VanVleet looks like an odd fit as a 15th man for the Raptors, take a beat here. It’s July 11, and a lot can change between now and the beginning of the NBA season. Trades and free agency can change things quickly, and even if they don’t, the Raptors see VanVleet as an NBA talent, and there’s good reason to add a player like that to the organization’s talent base. The partial guarantee may help convince VanVleet to agree to being made a D-League affiliate player if he’s cut in camp (similar to what they did with four Summer Leaguer-to-D-League players last year), but there’s no assurance he’d even make it through waivers. That’s not their immediate thinking, nor is it VanVleet’s.
For now, the Raptors identified a player they really like and felt should have went drafted, and they signed him. Where, exactly, he fits won’t be clear until training camp, but the important part – landing a player who looks like an NBA piece and securing him to a flexible, team-friendly deal – is one of the safer bets you can make here in Vegas.Follow @raptorsrepublic