Fred VanVleet has quietly emerged as the hottest potential star available ahead of this year’s NBA Trade Deadline.
Although the 28-year-old’s 2022-23 campaign hasn’t been as strong as his showing from last year, he is still one of the league’s more talented guards.
This season VanVleet is averaging 19.1 points per game on 38.9 percent shooting from the field and 34.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Last year he put up 20.3 points per game on 40.3 percent shooting from the field and 37.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The dip in VanVleet’s stats doesn’t appear to have hurt his value around the league any. Currently, four teams are very interested in his services – assuming the Toronto Raptors will part ways with him.
As noted by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Los Angeles Clippers are one of the squads that VanVleet would make a ton of sense for. The John Wall Experiment hasn’t gone as planned for L.A., and they need a more reliable playmaker running the show next to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
The Phoenix Suns, similarly, have eyed VanVleet as a long-term replacement for Chris Paul. While replacing one of the greatest point guards of all time is never easy, VanVleet would certainly smooth out the transition for Devin Booker and Co.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Orlando Magic are also a team worth watching for VanVleet. Between Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Wendall Carter and Bol Bol – the franchise’s frontcourt future looks bright. They just need to get the backcourt settled now.
Finally, according to NBA insider Marc Stein, VanVleet plans to sign with Klutch Sports for representation. Understandably, this has led to speculation that perhaps the Los Angeles Lakers are a viable destination for him.
ESPN NBA analyst Jay Williams noted this week that VanVleet would be a perfect fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Brittany has done it again.https://t.co/gJjC0mZ9zy
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 26, 2023
“I think Fred VanVleet can be one of the missing links for this team that can add to everybody personnel wise on their roster,” he said.
The NBA Trade Deadline is set for Feb. 9.
Will the Raptors deal him at some point before then? Time will tell.
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