Raptors star VanVleet enjoying pre-Kawhi advantage
© NBAE Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet
Fred VanVleet is relishing the truth the Toronto Raptors are being neglected, simply like they were before Kawhi Leonard’s arrival, after re-signing with the NBA franchise.
VanVleet will remain in Toronto after the Raptors revealed a new multi-year agreement on Tuesday, apparently worth $85million over four years.
The 26-year-old guard has established himself as a crucial member of the Raptors lineup, having actually helped the team to their very first championship in 2019.
Leonard headlined Toronto’s success last year before leaving for the Los Angeles Clippers and amid doubts over the Raptors heading into 2020-21, VanVleet is delighted.
” I’m excited about what we have actually got,” VanVleet – undrafted out of Wichita State – said throughout Tuesday’s virtual news conference.
” I believe we’re sort of headed back in the instructions of where we were pre-Kawhi, where people are overlooking us again, which is not a bad place to be in.
” We’ve got a great deal of work to do and we’ve got to get a lot better as people, and after that we’ll go out there and see what we can do. I’m thrilled. I can’t wait to get back to work.”
A playoff hero in Toronto’s 2019 title run, VanVleet assumed a larger offensive role last season, starting 54 games and balancing profession highs with 17.6 points and 6.6 helps per video game as the Raptors reached the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
VanVleet was balancing under 5.0 points per game as recently as 2016-17. Now, his scoring depends on 17.6 (+14.7 ). No players in the NBA have had a bigger scoring increase ever since, with New Orleans Pelicans star Brandon Ingram (23.8 ppg from 9.4 ppg – +14.5), Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics (20.3 ppg from 6.6 ppg – +13.7) and Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (20.6 ppg from 7.3 ppg – +13.3) coming closest.
” All of the private distinctions that you might ever think about – though I don’t really share those publicly since that’s not what I’m into – but I’ve got a lot on the table that I wish to get done,” VanVleet said, with the Raptors to begin their season in Tampa, Florida amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
” But now I’m just locked in on that next championship. That feeling of winning a champion, it trumps anything I’ve ever performed in my life, in my profession. Besides my kids, that’s right up there, as far as individual journeys and accomplishments that you can make.
” So trying to chase after that next champion, that’s what I’m locked in on.”
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