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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2020, file photo, Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward moves the ball on a fast break against the Orlando Magic during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Orlando, Fla. Hayward has been a player that the Charlotte Hornets have wanted for years. On Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, they finally landed him, according to Priority Sports, the agency that represents the veteran forward. ESPN, which first reported the agreement, said Hayward would sign a four-year deal worth $120 million. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

Fred VanVleet bet on himself. It paid off.

Gordon Hayward, meanwhile, is heading to a new home.

VanVleet agreed Saturday to a four-year, $85 million contract to remain with the Toronto Raptors, a person with direct knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract remains unsigned. The fourth year of the contract is at VanVleet's option.

The Charlotte Hornets have wanted Hayward for years. On Saturday, they finally landed him, according to Priority Sports, the agency that represents the veteran forward. A person with knowledge of the terms, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn't been signed, told the AP that Hayward will sign a four-year contract worth $120 million. ESPN first reported the agreement between Hayward and the Hornets.

Former University of Arkansas player Bobby Portis (Little Rock Hall) has agreed to a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. Portis averaged 10.1 points last season for the New York Knicks.

VanVleet, the undrafted guard from Wichita State, has played a huge role in the Raptors' recent success, most importantly their run to the 2019 NBA championship. He has set career bests in scoring by wide margins in each of the last three seasons, that number rising to 17.6 points per game this past season.

Keeping VanVleet was of major importance to the Raptors, who have won at least 50 games in each of the past five seasons -- by far the longest current streak in the NBA. Milwaukee has a two-year such streak, and the reigning NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers reached the 50-win mark last season.

It also fulfilled a VanVleet prophecy: He famously went undrafted four years ago, then passed on some low-money deals that he figured wouldn't pan into much.

"I turned those down. I bet on myself," VanVleet told friends and family on what would have been his draft night, a festive occasion that turned disappointing when the call from the NBA never came.

On Saturday, he tweeted his reaction: a retweet of himself saying "Bet on yourself" in 2016, with three moneybag emojis now attached.

The Raptors brought him in on a summer-league deal, then a minimum deal, then gave him a two-year contract for $18 million two years later -- and now gave him the full reward.

Kyle Lowry, the veteran point guard and longtime leader of the Raptors, has predicted that VanVleet will take over that role one day. The deal agreed to on Saturday only cements that sort of thinking.

"He's going to be rewarded," Lowry said after the Raptors were eliminated with a Game 7 loss to Boston in this past season's Eastern Conference semifinals. "To me, that means the world that he can take care of his family and take care of his family at a high level."

Free agency opened in the NBA on Friday evening and VanVleet was one of the top available names. The Lakers' Anthony Davis remains unsigned though is expected to remain with the defending champions.

Hayward turned down a $34 million option for this season with Boston, and the Celtics were in talks with other teams -- including Indiana, which was believed to be a preference of Hayward's -- on potential sign-and-trade deals.

Instead, the Celtics are seeing Hayward walk away as a free agent.

Hayward agreed to a four-year offer sheet worth about $63 million with the Hornets in 2014, a deal that was matched by the Utah Jazz -- Hayward's original team. Hayward left the Jazz for Boston in 2017, saw his first season with the Celtics end on opening night of the 2017-18 season when he suffered a lower leg injury, then averaged 14.0 ppg over the next two seasons.

VanVleet's deal was the second major development for the Raptors in two days. On Friday, the team announced that it would begin this season by calling Tampa, Fla., home because of travel issues related to the coronavirus pandemic -- specifically the challenge of getting NBA teams over a U.S.-Canada border that is closed to nonessential travel.

In other matters Saturday:

ATLANTA

Guard Rajon Rondo took to Instagram to post what appeared to be a farewell message to the Lakers, after he helped them win this past season's NBA title. He thanked the team's front office and Coach Frank Vogel, among others.

He ended the post with "Now, what's next..."

The answer came quickly.

Rondo agreed later Saturday to a two-year deal with the Hawks, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told AP.

Rondo became the latest addition in a busy two days of movement for Atlanta. The Hawks agreed with guard Kris Dunn earlier Saturday on a two-year contract worth $10 million, a second person told AP.

BOSTON

Tristan Thompson agreed on a two-year, $19 million contract to join the Celtics -- ending his nine-year stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Thompson averaged 9.4 points and 8.7 rebounds in his nine seasons, a stint that included playing a key part in helping Cleveland win its lone NBA championship in 2016. He leaves as the Cavaliers' No. 3 career rebounder and played in 447 consecutive games from 2012 through 2017.

DENVER

Paul Millsap is staying with the Nuggets on a one-year deal that will be worth around $10 million. The news of the forward's decision was first reported by The Athletic and The Denver Post.

PHOENIX

Forward Jae Crowder, a big part of Miami's run last season to the NBA Finals, agreed on a three-year contract that will be worth nearly $30 million to join the Phoenix Suns, according to a person familiar with those negotiations.

Crowder became a starter last season for the Heat and averaged 12.0 points in Miami's playoff run. He becomes another key veteran addition to the Suns, who finished last season with an 8-0 run in the restart bubble at Disney and swung a trade earlier this month for All-Star point guard Chris Paul to play alongside All-Star shooting guard Devin Booker.

PORTLAND

Carmelo Anthony is coming back for an 18th season, agreeing Saturday night on a one-year deal to remain with the Trail Blazers.

Portland gave Anthony an opportunity to extend his career last season and he rewarded the Blazers by starting all 58 of his appearances and averaging 15.4 points.

Anthony is currently 15th on the NBA's all-time scoring list with 26,446 points. That's only 50 points behind No. 14 Tim Duncan; 220 points behind No. 13 Dominique Wilkins; 266 points behind No. 12 Oscar Robertson; and exactly 500 points back of No. 11 Hakeem Olajuwon.

photo
FILE - In this Jan. 4, 2020, file photo, Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet looks to pass the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets in New York. VanVleet agreed Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, to a four-year, $85 million contract to remain with the Toronto Raptors, a person with direct knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the contract remains unsigned. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Print Headline: Raptors keep VanVleet with deal worth $85M

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