How did Fred Van Vleet, the talented point guard from Rockford, Illinois, somehow go undrafted? Was it that he stayed in college too long? Was it due to him playing for a smaller school? Either way, the scouts really blew this one.
As a freshman he was part of a surprising Wichita State team that made the 2013 NCAA Final Four. His sophomore year he led the Shockers to an undefeated regular season, winning the first of his two Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year awards. He again won the MVC Larry Bird Trophy Player of the Year as a senior. As a junior, he was an All-Missouri Valley Conference first team selection.
After college, he signed to play in the 2016 NBA Summer League with the Toronto Raptors, eventually landing on their G league affiliate, Raptors 905. All he did there was help them win the D-League Championship in April 2017.
Though going undrafted,Fred VanVleet did not take long to become a key role player in the NBA. By the 2017-18 season, he was booking solid minutes coming off the Raptors bench. He ranked 4th in the NBA in net efficiency per possession and was the only full-time bench player in the top 20 (19th) in the league for plus-minus.
The next year he played a major role as a member of the 2018-19 Raptors’ championship team.
In Game 6 of the NBA Finals, VanVleet scored a playoff career-high 22 points with five 3-pointers off the bench in a 114–110 series-clinching win, thus helping the Raptors win their first NBA title in franchise history. He came in second place in NBA Finals MVP voting to Kawhi Leonard.
For the currently suspended 2019-20 season, as a starter alongside all-star Kyle Lowry, his averages are 17.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 6.6 APG in 35.8 MPG.
He is currently the 134th best-paid NBA player and only the 62nd best-paid guard.
Fred is also an unrestricted free agent AND the player I want to see the Chicago Bulls sign as their point guard. It’s time to come home! I am a big fan!
How did Fred VanVleet fly under the radar? Who else wants VanVleet on their team come 2020-21?