The Lakers, potential destination for Fred VanVleet?

Among the NBA franchises to watch as the February 9 trade deadline approaches, there are in particular the Raptors and the Lakers. And among the players who could potentially move is Toronto point guard Fred VanVleet. Is a scenario in which FVV is transferred from Toronto to Los Angeles credible?

In any case, if we are to believe Jeff Zillgitt d’USA Todaythis is something to watch out for.

Currently in the last year of his contract (he has a player option of 22.8 million on next season), Fred VanVleet is one of the Toronto players found in rumors four weeks before the deadline. And despite the last hallway noises who lean more towards a scenario in which Masai Ujiri (boss of Raptors basketball operations) is discreet by February 9, that of a transfer is not disconcerting either. Especially when it comes to the Lakers.

As we know, the Los Angeles franchise must better surround LeBron James, who did not fail to put pressure on manager Rob Pelinka to improve the roster. For now, the latter has chosen to keep his cartridges (namely the 2027 and 2029 Draft picks) to try to get a big name like Zach LaVine ou Bradley Bealor keep flexibility in view of the Free Agency 2023. But the closer we get to the deadline, the more the pressure will increase on Pelinka’s shoulders to make a deal. Can Fred VanVleet represent a sufficiently attractive solution for Kobe Bryant’s former agent?

Eric Koreen and Jovan Buha, who cover the Raptors and Lakers respectively for The Athletic, offer a trade sending Patrick Beverley, Kendrick Nunn, Max Christie and the first round choice of Draft 2027 in Toronto against VanVleet, which would therefore go to the Lakers. Rob Pelinka would drop one of his two beloved picks at the Dinos to recover an FVV in 18 points and 6 assists on average.

“Roster-wise, the Lakers would basically replace Pat Beverley with Fred VanVleet. Talent-wise, that’s a significant enough progression for the Lakers to accept.”

– Jovan Buha, insider pour The Athletic

Despite Fredo’s drop in production compared to his All-Star season last year (38% shooting this season including a poor 33% from 3-pointers), which is partly explained by Toronto’s limits in attack but also the fatigue accumulated from playing under Nick Nurse, Fred VanVleet would clearly strengthen Los Angeles on the backcourt. Enough to make the Lakers a really serious team in the Western Conference? It’s being debated, but it’s one of the avenues that Rob Pelinka can potentially explore by February 9.

As we said before, FVV can become a free agent in the summer of 2023 and at 28, he is logically looking for a big contract extension. The point guard is currently eligible for a four-year, $114 million extension with Toronto but is reportedly aiming higher. Are the Raptors ready to keep him for the amount he’s looking for? If the answer to this question is no, it is not impossible that VanVleet will be transferred.

Source texte : USA Today, The Athletic

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