After what felt like a long wait after free-agency kicked off Friday afternoon at 6pm ET, the fate of Fred VanVleet was revealed. The undrafted guard “Bet on Himself” and took a three-year, $130 Million deal with the Houston Rockets.
Obviously, great money for the Toronto Raptors product, but now leads to many questions for the Raptors at the point guard spot. They let Gabe Vincent head to the Lakers, and all of the other big point guard options seem to be off the market now.
Free agent G Fred VanVleet has agreed on a three-year, $130 million contract with the Houston Rockets, @KlutchSports CEO Rich Paul and agent Erika Ruiz tell ESPN. Rockets land ex-Raptors All-Star in his prime at 29 years old. pic.twitter.com/B6WwPmLYq1— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2023
Toronto was also apparently “in a fight” for VanVleet with Houston near the end. The Raptors deal was apparently going to be four years, $120 million dollars — they could not match what Houston was offering.
Woj says on NBA Today that "Toronto is in a real fight with Houston to hold onto Fred VanVleet."— Vivek Jacob (@vivekmjacob) July 1, 2023
The Raptors were able to hold onto Jakob Poeltl on a four year, $80 million dollar deal, and when that news broke, hopes were high that VanVleet would stay.
Now he’s off to Houston.
Fred VanVleet went undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft and was picked up by the Toronto Raptors. He played a pivotal role with the team in their 2019 NBA Championship run. VanVleet then re-signed with the Raptors on a four year deal in 2020, with the fourth year being a player option.
After becoming an NBA All-Star in the 2022 season, it was predicted Fred would decline his player option this year — which he did. He now is a max contract player.
One of the top Toronto Raptors in franchise history, VanVleet’s legacy as a Raptor will always be strong.