Fred VanVleet says Raptors ready to move on from Kawhi Leonard

Hours after VanVleet hosted the basketball camp Leonard broke his silence for the first time as he was officially introduced as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers.“I want to thank the Toronto Raptors fans, I don’t have social media so I’m not able to put out a paragraph or whatever. But, I just want to thank all of Toronto, the city the country. We had an amazing season also had the best parade ever.”“I also want to thank the city as far as the restaurants giving out that Ka’wine and Dine through the playoffs, I took advantage of that.” Fred VanVleet was one of the backbones of the Toronto Raptors playoff run. VanVleet knows that with the departure of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green that he is going to have to take on more of a leadership role with the team.“You hope to just inspire and I lead by example. I’ve been a vocal leader since I’ve been with the Raptors and I’m going to continue to keep growing,” Fred said at Humber College where he was hosting a week-long camp for hundreds of kids to help develop basketball skills as part of the Raptors Basketball Academy. “Obviously as my role continues to grow, my leadership will continue to grow. I’m one of those guys who is going to be a voice. We have our vets but there are a few of us younger guys who are going to speak up when we need to speak up.” [email protected] @FredVanVleet teaching over 200 kids today for the teams 14th annual #raptors Basketball Academy. #WeTheNorth @CityNews pic.twitter.com/o3fnFAlnYP— Lindsay Dunn (@LindsayDunnTV) July 24, 2019 VanVleet says there are no hard feelings when it comes to Leonard’s decision not to re-sign with Toronto.“We don’t talk about free agency with guys we won a championship. We had a good time and you leave him to do what he has to do and you have to respect and appreciate what he gave to us. You know now we are back to work and we are looking forward to this year.”With the departure of Leonard many sports analysts have been writing the Raptors off. For the third year Raptor, he says that’s normal.“They did the same thing last year and look at what happened,” says VanVleet. “We are hungry and we are hungry again. We had a great run and we had a good time. We won a ring but your career doesn’t stop because you won a championship so we are all hungry and thirsty to get back to the championship Finals.”It’s not known yet when the Raptors and Clippers will face each other next season as the NBA schedule hasn’t been released yet.

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