The Toronto Raptors have made a qualifying offer to Fred VanVleet, knowing full well what the point guard’s likely response will be.
However, by far the most interesting offer, was the one made to Fred VanVleet. Of the three, he is the one the Raptors most want back next season, but will also present the biggest challenge.
VanVleet’s qualifying offer is believed to be around $1.7 million. However, he is expected to decline this and become a restricted free agent.
Even though the offer is roughly $400,000 more than what the point guard received during the 2017-18 season, he is seeking a more significant pay increase. And with good reason.
VanVleet enjoyed a breakout year during his second season, proving to be a key component off the bench as part of arguably the best bench unit in the league. He was sixth on the team in average points (8.6) and third in assists (3.2).
The 24-year-old averaged 20 minutes of action per contest and showed great leadership, as he played in 76 games. As a result, he was named as one of three finalist for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
VanVleet has indicated his desire to return to Toronto next season. However, this won’t necessarily make the situation any more straightforward.
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Understandably, the Raptors’ biggest concern is if any teams make what could be perceived as an extravagant offer. With their current salary cap situation, there’s a very good chance the organization will be put in a position where they simply cannot afford to match offers for the Rockford, Illinois native.
At that point, it won’t matter how much VanVleet wants to stay. After being undrafted out of college, he knows he has to take advantage of his current standing in the game, to make as much money as possible.
As such, all the Raptors can do is hope that no other team makes any outrageous offers, so they can work on negotiating a multi-year contract with VanVleet. Certainly, it should prove to be an interesting few weeks for the organization and their fanbase.
In related news, the Raptors have yet to make a qualifying offer to Lucas Nogueira. As per Loung, the team has until June 30 to make the offer — worth around $4.1 million — or allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.
What do you believe the outcome will be in negotiations with VanVleet? Do you predict he will return to the Toronto Raptors next season, or play elsewhere in the NBA? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.