VICTORIA – Fred VanVleet vows he’ll be smarter along with his physique and extra conscientious of his enjoying time this season.
However Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse says it’s simpler stated than finished. It’s an awesome concept — in idea.
“If you’ve obtained an excellent aggressive man who’s enjoying nice, and he desires to play, to relaxation him … simply to say, ‘sorry, it’s your relaxation time, we don’t care what’s occurring on the ground proper now, it’s your relaxation time,’ it’s onerous to do,” Nurse stated.
The 28-year-old earned NBA all-star honours final season, however logged a back-breaking 37.9 minutes an evening. The damage and tear was expensive — he missed the Raptors’ ultimate three regular-season video games, and Video games 5 and 6 of their opening-round playoff sequence towards the Philadelphia 76ers with a strained hip flexor.
The Raptors opened camp on Tuesday on the College of Victoria, and Nurse stated it was nice to have 20 wholesome gamers — VanVleet among the many most important.
Nurse stated attempting to handle the purpose guard’s minute was much like attempting to corral former guard Kyle Lowry. And with VanVleet lacking 17 video games final common season, the teaching employees discovered rather a lot about adjusting for his absence.
“The onerous half about it, too, is once we all sit down in chairs in an workplace, it appears straightforward,” Nurse stated. “Nicely, it’s not the identical as when the ball’s up and also you’re in a tricky recreation, it’s a one-point recreation, and you bought three minutes to go, and also you’re saying, ‘Oh, jeez he’s at 38 minutes, if we don’t take him out, now he’s gonna go to 41. And we’re on the highway. And it’s a one-point recreation in Miami. That’s type of the actual life that’s completely different than we’re all standing right here with out the warmth of the battle, or sitting in our workplaces with out the warmth of the battle.
“However the level’s been dropped at my consideration,” he added, with fun.
VanVleet is headed into the third season of a four-year, US$85 million deal, however is eligible to signal an extension as of Oct. 17.
“I’ll simply say that I like being a Raptor,” VanVleet stated at Monday’s annual media day. “I’ve an awesome relationship with administration, possession, teaching employees. There’s nothing I might actually ever complain about being on this staff. However I’m not going to talk on contractual issues, so that you guys will know when it’s time to know.
“I’m pleased with the place I’m and I believe it’s a mutual love.”
Raptors president Masai Ujiri spoke glowingly Monday concerning the Rockford, Sick., native — “Mr. Guess on Your self” — who went undrafted, however performed his manner right into a roster spot at coaching camp in 2016.
“Whether or not it’s now or afterward, Fred is beloved to us,” Ujiri stated. “Hopefully, we’ll determine (it out).”
VanVleet averaged a career-high 20.3 factors on .403 taking pictures, 6.7 assists and 4.4 rebounds final season.
He admitted that amid the joy of the Raptors’ stretch run final season — they completed fifth within the Japanese Convention and took Philly to 6 video games within the first spherical of the playoffs — he ignored his physique.
“Positively needed to take heed to my physique,” he stated. “We misplaced and I needed to go to the physician and all these issues to plan out the remainder of my summer season. I needed to get stronger. I needed to make some modifications and I did these issues, and I really feel nice.”
Nurse sees VanVleet enjoying off the ball rather a lot this season, a luxurious the Raptors have with their versatile roster.
“That’s the place we’ve seen once more, the shift in Scottie (Barnes), Pascal (Siakam), even O.G. (Anunoby) in all probability, bringing it up the ground,” Nurse stated. “I like that you simply guys (media) know I like it. As a result of that will get these guys in not essentially open flooring conditions, however defence on the transfer conditions.
“And you bought Freddy, and Gary (Trent Jr.), a few of these guys on the perimeter are able to shoot … so it’s a great way to create some early offence.”
The Raptors finish camp with an open scrimmage on Friday, after which fly to Edmonton to face the Utah Jazz to open the pre-season on Oct. 2.
This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Sept. 27, 2022.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION