When Fred VanVleet agreed to re-sign with the Toronto Raptors, he made history.
The terms VanVleet agreed to with the team – four years and $85 million – made his contract the single largest contract ever signed by an undrafted player in NBA history, taking the record from Wes Matthews, the previous holder of the distinction from his 2015 deal with the Dallas Mavericks (worth four years and $70 million).
Matthews still holds the edge over VanVleet as being the formerly undrafted player who has earned the most money in their career in league history. Accounting for his new deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, Matthews will have made $117.3 million during his time in the NBA; VanVleet, including his new reported deal with Toronto, will have made $105.1 million.
There’s a good chance VanVleet ends up passing him in that regard at some point, too, however, considering he’s younger and performing at a higher level than Matthews.
Either way, VanVleet more than earned his money. Since joining the Raptors in 2016, the 26-year-old has blossomed into of the top point guards in the NBA. This most recent season, VanVleet put together his strongest campaign as a professional, averaging 17.6 points, 6.6 assists and 1.9 steals while shooting 39 percent from beyond the arc.
VanVleet reportedly had interest from multiple parties, including from the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns (prior to their Chris Paul trade), but potential suitors backed off when it became apparent the Illinois native would be re-signing with Toronto.
With backcourt mate Kyle Lowry about to turn 35, VanVleet will soon be expected to prove he can handle being the Raptors’ top playmaker and creator. Based on his career trajectory so far, though, that shouldn’t be a problem.