The Toronto Raptors were dethroned although most still laud them for the run they made. But looking ahead, there are more pressing matters head coach Nick Nurse has to deal with. One of them is Fred VanVleet who is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

VanVleet is seen as the heir to Kyle Lowry moving forward. Lowry is already 34 and there is no question that he is nearing the twilight of his career. The 26-year-old guard had a decent showing last NBA season, putting up 17.6 points, 6.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 35.7 minutes of action per Basketball-Reference.com.

Multiple NBA teams are expected to try and pluck VanVleet away from Toronto. Nurse seems confident that the 6-foot-1 guard will stay in Toronto and admitted that it would be a shock to him if VanVleet would not return when he appeared on the Tim and Sid podcast.

Since joining the Raptors in 2016, there is no question that VanVleet has found his groove. With the success he has had under the watch of Nurse, VanVleet would take a big risk joining another team and re-acquaint himself with a new system.

A team heavily linked to the one-time NBA champion is the New York Knicks. Most know that the Knicks are trying to rebuild (again) and getting a proven guard would be key. But the difference between the Raptors and the Knicks is that VanVleet is already on an established team. Unless he wants to start from scratch and take on the challenge to lead the Knicks, the wise money is for him to stay in Toronto.

The Knicks are likely to dangle a handsome offer to convince him. But unless new head coach Tom Thibodeau can find other ways to convince him, VanVleet may opt to check out offers with NBA teams who are contenders – other than the Raptors.

But at the end of the day, VanVleet has little to no reason to leave Toronto. He is under the watch of a good coach and rising players like Pascal Siakam. Considering they lost key players like Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to Los Angeles teams but managed to make a good run, it may be in his best interest to stay the course with the Raptors.

 Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors and head coach Nick Nurse Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors and head coach Nick Nurse Getty Images | Harry How