Raptors re-sign Fred VanVleet to four-year, $85-million deal

Fred Van Vleet of the Toronto Raptors

Kansas City officials and congressional leaders from Kansas and Missouri had sought to bring the Raptors to Kansas City, offering the downtown T-Mobile Center as a temporary home for the team during the pandemic. With VanVleet back in the fold alongside Lowry, All-Star forward Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, the Raptors retain their core that has brought them to consecutive seasons finishing with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Raptors had hoped to start the 2020-21 campaign at home despite rising numbers of COVID-19 cases at home and in the United States.

Ujiri says even though the Raptors will be away from their fans, "absence makes the heart grow fonder".

The Raptors had hoped to play in their home arena, but had been looking at other options including Tampa; Nashville, Tennessee; and Newark, New Jersey. The number of cases in both countries, but particularly in the US, has surged since.

The Canadian federal government ruled on Friday that the Raptors will not be able to play home games at Scotiabank Arena due to COVID-19 concerns.

In his statement Friday, Ujiri said he was grateful to the Canadian government and public health officials for their dedication to the process of determining if the Raptors could play in Toronto.

"Absolute tragedy from the incompetent federal government".

"We commit to continuing our work together, planning for a safe return to play in Toronto", Ujiri said.

Fred VanVleet, one of the most coveted players in National Basketball Association free agency this year, is remaining a Toronto Raptor.A source close to the team confirmed a report Saturday that the Raptors had re-signed the 26-year-old to a four-year, US$85-million deal, keeping one of the best backcourts in the league intact. "For now, I'll ask you to cheer us from afar and we'll look forward to the day we are together again".

So the Raptors went with Plan B, which is Tampa.