Fred VanVleet had to settle for a highlight and a mention on TNT’s NBA awards show Monday night. He did not receive one of the league’s major awards.
VanVleet was one of three finalists for the Sixth Man of the Year honor. It went to Clippers’ swingman Lou Williams. Williams averaged 21.6 points per game this past season.
In 76 regular season games VanVleet averaged 8.6 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.4 rebounds. He shot 42.6% from the field and 41.4% from three-point range. He also finished among the league leaders in net rating and assist/turnover ratio.
Numbers alone don’t begin to tell how valuable he was to the Toronto Raptors. The Rockford native and Auburn graduate led a Raptors’ bench unit that was the most productive in the NBA. The Raptors set a franchise record with 59 wins.
The other finalist for the Sixth Man award was Rockets’ guard Eric Gordon.