Guard Fred VanVleet led the Toronto Raptors to a win on Tuesday night and made NBA history. In the offseason, VanVleet signed the biggest contract for an undrafted player after getting a four-year, $85 million deal. On Tuesday night, VanVleet dropped 54 points against the Orlando Magic and scored the most by an undrafted player in NBA history.
The Raptors ended up beating the Magic 123-108. The previous record for the most points scored by an undrafted player was held by Moses Malone, who once had 54 points. Also, VanVleet broke DeMar DeRozan's franchise record for most points scored in a game.
DeRozan, who now plays for the San Antonio Spurs, once scored 52 points for the Raptors. "Unbelievable. I'm very humbled and honored to be in the same sentence as both of those guys," said VanVleet, who finished the game 17-for-23 from the field, 11-for-14 from the 3-point line and 9-for-9 from the foul line.
He also had 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks in 37 minutes. "Just a special night, obviously, a lot of different levels," he said. "So just trying to enjoy it for now, but it's not a championship or anything like that.
It was a good game for me, and I'll enjoy all the love for a couple hours and get ready for the next one."
VanVleet did it with ease
After the biggest performance of his career, VanVleet claimed it wasn't tough for him to do what he did.
"It was easy," VanVleet said. "No disrespect to the Magic. But I mean, for most of those, I was open. They were in rhythm. They were clean looks. They were within the offense. That's why I was able to remain patient and still pass out of double-teams and not take bad shots because of the way I got all my points.
There were maybe one or two quick, bad shots, if that. "Most of those were in rhythm, within the offense, playing in the flow of the game; and I even told the guys, 'You guys, keep playing.' I could feel them start to look for me to the point where they weren't looking at the rim anymore.
I wanted to win more than I wanted 50 points. Just trying to continue to play with a pure heart and let the game come to me, and I was rewarded for that."