Raptors guard Fred VanVleet has the ability to become an unrestricted free agent next summer if he turns down his player option for the 2023/24 season. At Monday’s Media Day, he and team president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri were noncommittal about whether a contract extension will get done in the coming weeks, but both sides expressed enthusiasm about continuing the relationship, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca relays (Twitter links).
“I’ll just say I love being a Raptor,” VanVleet said. “… There’s nothing I could ever complain about being on this team. You guys will know when it’s time to know, but I’m happy with where I am and I think it’s a mutual love.”
Ujiri stated that the team is in a “good place” with VanVleet after some initial extension conversations.
“Whether it’s now or later on, Fred is beloved to us,” Ujiri said. “… Hopefully we’ll figure (it out).”
Here are a few more notes out of Toronto:
- O.G. Anunoby told reporters today that he was “surprised” by an offseason report claiming that he was unhappy with his role on offense, tweets Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. “I haven’t really talked about role with (head coach) Nick (Nurse),” Anunoby said. “We’re all just trying to get better and everything will fall into place.”
- After making an All-Star team and earning a pair of All-NBA nods, Pascal Siakam is setting even higher expectations for himself, telling reporters today that his goal is to become a “top-five” player in the NBA. “I want to be one of the best and I’ll do whatever it takes to get there,” Siakam said, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link). “I’m ready for it. It’s time.”
- Before he signed with the Raptors, Juancho Hernangomez spoke to fellow Spaniards Marc Gasol, Jose Calderon, and Sergio Scariolo about the franchise and the city of Toronto, tweets Lewenberg. The input Hernangomez received from former Raptors assistant Scariolo, in particular, played a major part in his decision.
- The Raptors let their tender window for Jalen Harris lapse, which made him an unrestricted free agent and allowed the Knicks to sign him outright, tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet and The Fan 590. Toronto had the ability to retain Harris, but the team already had a full camp roster and opted to let him go.