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Toronto Raptors land Fred VanVleet replacement with confusing $26 million deal

The Toronto Raptors lost star point guard Fred VanVleet on Friday night, and they replaced him with a player a couple of levels below the one-time All-Star.

The first night of NBA free agency 2023 was extremely busy. While there was some talk that some of the top names on the market might not sign for a few days after taking in visits with interested teams, many of the stars in this year’s class agreed to contracts. And in many cases, it was with their current teams.

Related: Top 2023 NBA free agents – Best 100 available with positional breakdowns

However, one star player that did not re-sign with their team was Toronto Raptors veteran Fred VanVleet. The man that helped the team win a championship in 2019 was the first — and may end up being the only — athlete to secure a legitimate max deal when the Houston Rockets gave him a three-year deal worth $130 million.

Toronto Raptors give Dennis Schroder a confusing $25 million contract

toronto raptors
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It was a stunning number that will see the undrafted talent be paid on the level of NBA superstars like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Donovan Mitchell. Following the signing, Sportsnet NBA reporter Michael Grange the Toronto Raptors “had a threshold they wouldn’t cross and they stuck to their position.” Letting another beloved star walk for big money elsewhere.

  • Dennis Schroder (’22-’23): 12.6 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 4.5 APG, 33% 3PT

Yet, it didn’t take long for the team to find their replacement for VanVleet. And while that man actually was a first-round pick in the NBA Draft, he is a talent well below the level of what they just lost. ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski revealed the team came to terms on a surprise two-year $25 million deal with 10-year veteran Dennis Schroder.

While Schroder is a solid NBA player and a good backup point guard, the Toronto Raptors gave him a sizable raise to fill the shoes of VanVleet for the next two seasons.

Over the last three seasons, he saw his pay decrease each year from just under $6 million in 2020-2021 to $2.6 million last season with the Lakers (via Spotrac). Now, he will make just over $12 million to be a starter again in Canada.