Insider Reveals Surprising Update On Toronto Raptors' Free Agency Plans

The Toronto Raptors finally named a new coach, after a comprehensive, nearly two-month search, hiring Memphis Grizzlies assistant Darko Rajakovic. His reputation as an excellent developer of young talent should do wonders for Scottie Barnes and other young players on the roster. 

But what about two key veteran pieces that are heading towards free agency? Fred VanVleet—the team's leader and heart & soul—and Gary Trent Jr.

Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed today that VavVleet has, in fact, declined his $22.8M player option. Trent is expected to do so as well with his $18.5M option.

And while there's been much speculation that one or both of them will be moving on this summer, NBA Insider Marc Stein is hearing otherwise. On his #thisleague Uncut podcast Monday morning, he says his intel tells him that both VanVleet and Trent will most likely be back in The Six.

The latest rumbles I've heard is that Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. are more likely than not to be back in Toronto. 

But as far as trades and/or extensions for other big names on the Toronto roster, like Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, that's all still up in the air, says Stein. 

VanVleet has been an especially sought-after name in the lead-up to free agency, as teams like the Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets, with big money to spend, have been mentioned prominently, along with other teams more of the contending variety also having FVV on their radar, which includes a new addition, the Phoenix Suns, according to beat reporter Duane Rankin.

The 2022 All-Star had another strong season, averaging 19.3 points and 7.2 assists while tying for 2nd in the league with 1.8 steals per game. 

Trent is an excellent 3-and-D wing, once again finishing amongst the leaders in steals as well as deflections, while averaging 17.4 points and 37% from deep. He should also get some interest from teams with cap space. 

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