The Toronto Raptors will be without backup point guard Fred VanVleet for five weeks following successful surgery on a torn ligament in his thumb, according to a report from the Athletic’s Shams Charania.
VanVleet suffered the injury during the Raptors’ victory over the New York Knicks over the weekend. The good news for the Raptors, back in action on Wednesday against the Wizards (7:30 p.m. ET — watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension), is that VanVleet should be back in plenty of time for the playoffs, but they’ll certainly miss him while he’s sidelined.
Now in his third season, VanVleet is a key member of their second unit, and one of the best backup point guards in the league. And his injury will be even more noticeable now that the Raptors have traded away Delon Wright, another of their key backcourt pieces off the bench, in the Marc Gasol trade.
With Wright gone and VanVleet now sidelined, the Raptors made a move in the buyout market to acquire Jeremy Lin.
The veteran guard is finalizing a contract buyout with the Atlanta Hawks, and is then expected to sign with the Raptors as early as this week, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The jump will be a big one for Lin, as he will go from a lottery-bound team to one with championship aspirations.
The Hawks tried to deal Lin, 30, prior to last week’s trade deadline but were unable to find a taker due to his bulky $12.5 million contract for the current season. Once he clears waivers following his buyout with Atlanta, he will be available for the league minimum. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Lin will help to bolster Toronto’s bench for the playoff push, and he will see some serious minutes as a reserve guard in the wake of the loss of Wright and C.J. Miles in the trade to that brought Gasol to Toronto.