Raptors Notes: VanVleeet, Trade Rumors, Anunoby, Achiuwa

Fred VanVleet is expected to decline his $22,824,074 option in order to become a free agent this summer. However, the Raptors guard downplayed the timing of his decision to cut ties with his long-time agent, Brian Jungreis, according to Michael Grange of Sportsnet. VanVleet also said he hasn’t chosen an agent, despite reports that he’ll sign with Klutch Sports.

“It was a long time in the making,” the Raptors guard said. “Maybe the paperwork getting filed around the time when my name is in a lot of trade rumors, it’s going to make some noise, but there’s really nothing to it. It’s just time for me to switch agents for the second half of my career. It didn’t work out with the previous thing going on. I’m looking forward to a long, prosperous career, so I wouldn’t read too much into it.”

We have more from the Raptors:

  • VanVleet, of course, isn’t the only player who has been mentioned in trade rumors. Virtually the entire starting lineup has been thrown into the rumor mill and coach Nick Nurse admits the chatter hangs over them, Doug Smith of The Toronto Star writes. “There are guys that are thinking about where they’re living, where they’re moving, what their family situation is, kids in school,” Nurse said. “There’s the real-life part of it that, for sure, guys are thinking about. But I also believe once you get here and once the ball goes up, they probably focus in and do the best they can on the night.”
  • OG Anunoby departed the Raptors’ victory over Portland early on Saturday due to a left wrist sprain. Though X-rays were negative, he has been ruled out for Monday’s game against Phoenix, Blake Murphy of Sportsnet tweets.
  • With Anunoby sidelined, Precious Achiuwa stepped up with 27 points and 13 rebounds on Saturday. Nurse was impressed with Achiuwa’s performance, Erik Garcia Gundersen of The Associated Press writes. “He was in the right place at the right time a lot tonight and that’s a good sign that he’s making himself available,” Nurse said. “He made really good reads and (teammates) found him and he made a couple of plays on his own. I was happy that he was available because teams will step up to Pascal (Siakam) when he’s driving.” Achiuwa is extension-eligible this offseason.
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