Fred VanVleet's bet on himself has earned him an upcoming payday.
The former Wichita State standout was the anchor of the bench unit for the Toronto Raptors, which won a franchise-record 59 games, a role that made VanVleet a Sixth Man of the Year candidate. He averaged 8.6 points and 3.2 assists in 20 minutes, while making 41 percent of his three-pointers.
VanVleet made a $1.3 million salary this season but is expected to receive a significant pay bump as a restricted free agent. Just how much? It depends on whether he stays with the Raptors or whether he leaves, but all signs point toward VanVleet receiving a multi-year deal worth somewhere around $9 million per season.
The final answer will come sometime in July, but here's how the process will play out for VanVleet.
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Sometime after the NBA Finals and before June 29, the Raptors will tender VanVleet with a one-year, $1.7 million qualifying offer that is guaranteed. It's unlikely VanVleet accepts, but the qualifying offer allows the Raptors the right to match any offer sheet VanVleet signs with another team.
Toronto is likely to attempt to negotiate its own deal with VanVleet since it owns his Early Bird rights, which allows it to go over the salary cap to sign him. The most the Raptors could offer VanVleet is a four-year deal worth $36.9 million with the contract slowly increasing from a first-year salary of $8.2 million.
If VanVleet tests the market, his first-year salary would be capped at $8.6 million due to him being a restricted free agent after his second season. His second-year earnings would also be capped at a 5 percent increase, but there are no stipulations for any years following that.
That means a potential suitor could swoop in and offer VanVleet a back-loaded deal that spikes in salary after the second season. The max contract VanVleet could receive would be a four-year deal worth $74.4 million.