The Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors have more eyes on them than arguably any other clubs ahead of this year’s NBA Trade Deadline.
L.A. is currently 29-25 and sits fourth in the Western Conference. Despite winning six of their last seven outings, Kawhi Leonard and Co. understand that they still have a long way to go before reaching the sort of heights everyone expected from this group in the preseason.
Kawhi Leonard on if the Clippers are close to where they want to be after winning 6 of 7:
“No. We had a slow start, so we got a lot of catching up to do, but we’re making the right strides.”pic.twitter.com/3HcOm0uZnL
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) February 1, 2023
One squad that may be able to assist them is the Raptors. Nobody quite knew what Toronto would be able to do in the 2022-23 NBA season, and somehow this group has still under delivered.
In many people’s eyes, the Raptors may be the biggest sellers around come Feb. 9.
This week, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report noted that a swap between Los Angeles and Toronto centered around Fred VanVleet might be a smart one for all parties involved.
“The Clippers don’t have many assets left to move, but they might be willing to part with their best ones to land Fred VanVleet,” he wrote.
“He’s the difference-making lead guard whom they don’t have on the roster. This hasn’t been his best season, and he’s still regarded as a 91st percentile player by estimated plus/minus, per Dunks & Threes.
“He’s also on course to average 19 points and six assists for the third consecutive season, a streak shared with only seven other players. VanVleet also shares a championship history with Leonard, as the two teamed together on Toronto’s banner-raising bunch in 2018-19.”
It is something of an open secret around the league that the Clippers are one of four teams vying for VanVleet right now, but it remains unclear whether they possess the assets necessary to actually acquire him.
Given what the Raptors are demanding for OG Anunoby, it wouldn’t be that shocking to see them go with one of the other squads who can bring more trade capital to the table.
This is the video that got Olivia Dunne kicked off TikTok. https://t.co/N7GeMu9mUq
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 1, 2023
One way or the other the next couple of days promise to be interesting.
Will the Clippers and Raptors be able to make something happen ahead of the Feb. 9 NBA Trade Deadline? Time will tell.
Related: Golden State Warriors 2023 NBA Trade Deadline Plan