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REPORT: The Knicks are interested in free agent Fred VanVleet, but haven’t yet put together a contract offer

It’ll cost them.

Toronto Raptors v New York Knicks Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The 2019-20 NBA season is almost finished, finally. That means we are about to see a dramatic increase in free agent speculation. Our New York Knicks are always on the lookout for a point guard, and there’s a pretty darn good one available in Toronto’s Fred VanVleet.

There has been a great deal of noise on the Interwebs connecting VanVleet to the Knicks, and some contract numbers have even been floating around. Not so fast, according to SNY’s Ian Begley:

League sources say that VanVleet is indeed among the free agent options under consideration by New York. I don’t know how strong the Knicks’ interest in VanVleet is, but there was one report about New York preparing an offer of more than $20 million per season for the point guard.

Clearly, that’s the kind of offer a team would need to make to try to pry VanVleet from Toronto. But a source familiar with the matter strongly disputes the idea that New York has any offer prepared for VanVleet at the moment.

No matter what the Knicks have or have not decided as of yet, it’s almost certainly going to cost north of $20 million per year to pry VanVleet out of Toronto. The dude isn’t the biggest, or the best athlete, but he’s an undeniable basketball mensch with a championship pedigree. Last season he put up 17.6 points and 6.6 assists per game while shooting 39% from beyond the arc. The Knicks could use some of that juice.

The Raptors showed that they are still a borderline title contender this season, even after Kawhi Leonard departed. Can they really let themselves get outbid for VanVleet, especially with Kyle Lowry getting up in age. I doubt it. Methinks VanVleet stays in Toronto this summer, regardless of what the Knicks decide to offer.