“Without going too far into it … [I’m] just trying to put myself in a good position business-wise, and not take an extension on a deal that was made three or four years ago,” VanVleet said. “I felt like I’ve outplayed that contract thus far. So just trying to get myself in a position to put the cards in their hands. They got to make a decision from an organization standpoint.
“I love being here. I love being a Raptor. I got a great relationship with (team president) Masai (Ujiri) and (general manager) Bobby (Webster), so I’m confident that we could find (a deal). It’s a great partnership that we have, so going forward, I’m not going to make it easy on them and they’re not going to make it on me either, and that’s the way it’s going.”
- The Raptors could indeed be a team that could be a major trade deadline player, per Bontemps.
- Meanwhile, Marc of The Stein Line wrote that shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. is available, but that “I would not expect a broad fire sale” involving the Raptors.
- Stein added that the Raptors are remaining steadfast in hanging onto forwards Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby. “It would take lots — LOTS — to pry either (away from Toronto),” Stein wrote.
- Small forward Scottie Barnes, the reigning Rookie of the Year, said he is still finding his way in his second season. “I would say [I’m] still developing,” Barnes told Bontemps. “Still trying to find the right places, still working, just finding different ways on how I can impact the game.”