VanVleet on staying with Raptors: 'I always felt like I'd be back'

Fred VanVleet discusses how easy the free agent process felt for him, in re-signing in Toronto, says there was a few other options, but he always felt like it was inevitable he'd be back with the Raptors.

Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors agreed to a four-year, $85-million contract over the weekend and the team made the signing official on Tuesday

“I always felt like I’d be back,” the guard said during a media availability.

VanVleet followed up his 2018-19 championship season by setting career highs in points (17.6), assists (6.6) and rebounds (3.8) per game in 2019-20 and he became an every-game starter for the first time in his career.

The 26-year-old added that he did garner some interest from other teams but “nothing ever really panned out” and negotiations with Toronto went smoothly.

“It was almost so straight forward that it made me question it a little bit,” VanVleet said. “Like, it can't be this easy.”

“In the last four years, we’ve seen Fred move from leader of Raptors 905, to leader of the Bench Mob to a leader of a championship team,” Raptors team president Masai Ujiri said in a press release. “The constant has been his leadership, no matter his role. We look forward to the coming years with Fred as one of the voices and hearts of our team. We bet on Fred.”

Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said earlier in the year that re-signing VanVleet was the team's "top priority" of the off-season.

When submitting content, please abide by our  submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.