Raptors' VanVleet: 'I'm not shy' about trying to get paid in free agency
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is being candid about his intentions entering unrestricted free agency.
"I'm trying to get paid, man. I'm not shy about that," VanVleet recently told JJ Redick on "The Old Man and the Three" podcast. "I don't have to tell people that I value winning. Like, just look at my story, do your research, I've never been on a losing team in my entire life. ... I won a championship and now it's time to cash out. I'm 26. ... I'm only four years in (to his NBA career) but I feel like I'm on the verge of blossoming even more, with more of a lead role."
An undrafted free agent in 2016, VanVleet has evolved into one of the NBA's better two-way guards. After making $9.3 million last season, he's in line to more than double his salary. The Raptors can likely afford to give him a contract in the four-year, $80-million range, but other suitors such as the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, and Phoenix Suns could emerge.
Should he re-sign with the Raptors, VanVleet would be poised to take the point guard mantle from Kyle Lowry, who turns 35 next spring.
Either way, money will be a factor.
"It's not purely numbers, but the numbers do play a big part, and I just want to feel my value reciprocated from the other end," VanVleet said. "And teams can tell you your value all they want to, but until they show you in numbers, then you know what that means."