Raptors' Fred VanVleet named finalist for NBA top teammate award

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) drives the ball down court during second half NBA basketball action against the Boston Celtics, in Toronto, Monday, March 28, 2022. (Frank Gunn/CP)

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has been named a finalist for the 2021-22 Twyman Stokes Teammate of the Year Award.

According to the NBA, the honour "recognizes the player deemed the best teammate based on selfless play, on- and off-court leadership as a mentor and role model to other NBA players, and commitment and dedication to team."

"Fred has, like most of you know, got it together pretty good all over the place," Raptors coach Nick Nurse told reporters before Wednesday's game against Minnesota. "He's a winner, he's a hard worker, he's thoughtful in his responses about any issues that need to be addressed. Very wise and maturity beyond his years. I think great composure, very intelligent. 

"He's got a nice package of things that make him not only a great basketball player on the floor but make him a great leader, a great member of the organization and a great member of this league."

He joins former Raptors DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls and Rudy Gay of the Utah Jazz, Jeff Green of the Denver Nuggets, Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem, Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday, the Golden State Warriors' Andre Iguodala, the Memphis Grizzlies' Jaren Jackson Jr., Kevin Love from the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks big man Boban Marjanovic, star Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul and Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams as fellow nominees.

VanVleet was named an all-star for the first time in his career this season.

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