Potential Knicks target Fred VanVleet says he's 'trying to get paid' in upcoming free agency

·2 min read
Fred VanVleet tries to dribble past Joel Embiid
Fred VanVleet tries to dribble past Joel Embiid

Potential Knicks free agency target Fred VanVleet already has a championship on his resume, and now looks to "cash out" this offseason with a big contract.

Speaking on JJ Redick's "The Old Man and the Three" podcast, VanVleet made it pretty clear that money is going to play a big role in where he lands.

"I'm trying to get paid, man. I'm not shy about that." VanVleet told Redick. ""I don't have to tell people that I value winning. Like, just look at my story, do your research, I've never been on a losing team in my entire life. ... I won a championship and now it's time to cash out. I'm 26. ... I'm only four years in [to my NBA career] but I feel like I'm on the verge of blossoming even more, with more of a lead role."

According to SNY's Ian Begley's league sources, VanVleet is among the free agents the Knicks are considering to make a run at this offseason, with one report saying they could offer him a contract of up to $20 million per year.

Depending on where the salary cap ends up, the Knicks could have as much as $60 million in cap space this offseason.

"It's not purely numbers, but the numbers do play a big part, and I just want to feel my value reciprocated from the other end," VanVleet said. "And teams can tell you your value all they want to, but until they show you in numbers, then you know what that means."

While making an appearance on SNY's The Putback, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said that VanVleet would fill a great need for the Knicks, but it will be hard to get him out of Toronto.

The 6-1, 197-pound point guard went undrafted out of Wichita State and then signed with the Toronto Raptors in 2016 after playing for their Summer League team and has been on the rise ever since.

He exploded off the bench for the Raptors during the 2019 playoffs en route to their first NBA Championship. VanVleet was a sniper from beyond the three-point line and played a key role in defending Stephen Curry throughout the Finals.

As a starter last season, VanVleet set career-highs across the board, averaging 17.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game.

For his career, VanVleet is a 39.3 percent three-point shooter.