TORONTO — Fred VanVleet is remaining a Toronto Raptor.
The backup guard has agreed to a two-year deal with the Raptors, a source confirmed to The Canadian Press.
The move comes hours after NBA free agency opened Sunday morning, but can’t become official until the league’s off-season moratorium ends on Friday.
The finalist for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award reportedly signed a two-year deal worth US$18 million.
The 24-year-old Wichita State product was the motor that powered Toronto’s league-leading second unit this past season. He averaged 8.6 points and shot 41.4 per cent from three-point range, and his absence in the playoffs due to a shoulder injury was sorely felt.
Raptors president Masai Ujiri had made it clear that re-signing VanVleet was a top off-season priority.
“I don’t know what the rules are with that,” Ujiri said recently on the guard’s contract status. ”I don’t want to get into trouble but I love Freddie. I hope I don’t get fined for saying that but I love Freddie. He’s our player and I love him. Whatever it is, Freddie knows we love him.”
There was talk the Phoenix Suns had their eye on VanVleet, but that diminished early Sunday morning after the Suns reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with veteran swingman Trevor Ariza.