Fred VanVleet reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Houston Rockets at the start of free agency Friday and received a playful jab from Drake as his days with the Toronto Raptors ended.
VanVleet’s deal is worth about $130 million, according to multiple reports. On Sunday, Drake, a team ambassador for the Raptors, wrote a farewell to the guard on Instagram.
“My look alike…the love is forever thank you for your character and your contributions over the years the city will never forget!!! Good luck with everything on the Guangdong Dragons……..I mean the Rockets,” Drake wrote on VanVleet’s Instagram post.
VanVleet was saying goodbye to a Raptors team that took a chance on him during the 2016-17 season. He posted a heartfelt tribute thanking the team and fans for their support the last seven seasons.
“Words can’t do justice to how thankful I am to the city that watched me grow from a young kid praying for a chance to a NBA CHAMPION, all-star, and a father of 3!” he wrote.
“I am forever indebted to the franchise that gave me a shot when no one else would. We built things together that can never be broken, and accomplished things that will stand forever. I went from the fans not knowing who I was, to fan favorite, to most hated and I’m thankful for every second of it. To the city, franchise, and country that watched me grow every step of the way – THANK YOU.”
The Raptors signed VanVleet as an undrafted free agent from Wichita State. He was an All-Star during the 2021-22 season and helped Toronto to a championship in 2019.
In 417 games for the Raptors, he averaged 14.6 points, 5.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game.