The Toronto Raptors could be at the beginning of a rebuilding process, with the team recently losing arguably the heart and soul of the team in point guard Fred VanVleet and trade rumors floating around about star forward Pascal Siakam.
VanVleet recently hit the NBA free agent market with every intention of making as much as possible, with the Houston Rockets being more than happy to accommodate him.
With VanVleet now set to lead the charge for a young Rockets team, Scottie Barnes has shared his reaction to the Raptors losing their star point guard.
According to a tweet from Vivek Jacob of Raptors.com, Barnes said the following about VanVleet leaving Toronto in favor of Houston:
Scottie on Fred
"Fred was a leader on our team, he was our voice. Someone that was able to talk to the media, throughout the team, the organization. I was happy for him, he got a really big contract, he got his bread but we just gotta win basketball games as a team and move on."
— Vivek Jacob (@vivekmjacob) July 8, 2023
Although VanVleet had plenty of suitors in free agency, with many teams showing interest in bringing in a veteran point guard with championship experience, the Rockets were the team that was most willing to pay him what turned out to be a massive deal worth $130 million.
The real question now is what do the Raptors do from here.
Does Masai Ujiri believes Toronto still has a has a chance to compete as currently constructed, or do they head in another direction in an attempt to build around Barnes?
Even though the Raptors have been adamant about keeping Siakam and focusing on competing, the rumors seem to be saying the opposite, which could lead to an interesting summer in Toronto, especially if the right trade package comes around.
As for VanVleet, the veteran guard gets a shot at being the leader in Houston for a team that could have major upside if new head coach Ime Udoka can right the ship.NEXT: Analyst Believes 1 Raptors Player Could Be Traded Before The Season