Fred VanVleet and the Raptors have a big decision coming up.
Following a breakout season that saw VanVleet become an All-Star for the first time in his career, the undrafted gem is in line to negotiate another contract with Toronto.
As the Raptors continue to craft this roster to compete for the present and future, everything starts and ends with their 28-year-old floor general who has filled the Kyle Lowry void as a leader in the locker room.
Toronto signed VanVleet to a four-year contract extension back in 2020. He’s now extension eligible once again as he nears the end of that $85 million deal.
While it feels safe to assume VanVleet will remain with the Raptors, there are a few ways the All-Star guard can go about these contract negotiations.
Let’s take a look at VanVleet’s options heading into the 2022-23 season.
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When can Fred VanVleet sign an extension?
VanVleet became extension eligible on July 8. Unlike a rookie contract extension, there is no deadline for when he and the Raptors can come to an agreement.
As of now, Toronto could offer VanVleet a four-year, $114 million extension which would keep him in a Raptors uniform through the 2026-27 season.
At 28, VanVleet has just entered his prime, and coming off his first All-Star season, he has proven he is a better player than when he signed his last contract with Toronto.
Why Fred VanVleet could wait to sign an extension
According to The Athletic’s Eric Koreen, there are 14 teams that could create cap space greater than $25.5 million next offseason, which could land VanVleet more money if he elects to enter this upcoming season without an extension and then declines his player option for the 2023- 24 seasons.
Without the pressure of a deadline, VanVleet could continue to bet on himself, looking to repeat his performance from this past season to earn some more money.
Even if VanVleet were to take a step back or continue dealing with nagging injuries, he has a contingency plan in place with his $22.8 million player option for 2023-24.
Being patient could earn VanVleet more money in the long run.
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When does Fred VanVleet become a free agent?
After signing a four-year, $85 million deal with the Raptors in 2020, VanVleet is under contract with the team through the 2022-23 season with a player option for 2023-24.
As of now, VanVleet will be an unrestricted free agent in 2024.
Fred VanVleet contract
|Fred VanVleet||$21.3 million||$22.8 million (PO)||UFA|
AFTER = Player Option
UFA = Unrestricted free agent