The Los Angeles Lakers had a nice postseason run in the 2023 NBA Playoffs, but after getting swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, it's back to the drawing board for LA. The Lakers made several big moves at the trade deadline this past season, and they may have to do so again this offseason to rebuild their roster, with one potential target reportedly being Fred VanVleet.
VanVleet is coming off a bit of a rocky season for the Toronto Raptors (19.3 PPG, 7.2 APG, 4.1 RPG, 39.3 FG%, 34.2 3P%) in which his per game numbers remained solid, but his shooting numbers plummeted after his 2021-22 All-Star campaign. VanVleet has a player option this offseason, so if he opts to hit the open market, he could be a player that the Lakers try to pursue.
"I think Kyrie Irving and Fred VanVleet have to be at the top of the list for the Lakers this offseason" ~ @ShamsCharania #PMSLive pic.twitter.com/BwLH3fhPlK
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) May 25, 2023
With D'Angelo Russell getting benched in the playoffs, it seems likely that the Lakers are going to be looking for upgrades this offseason. VanVleet has had his struggles with his efficiency throughout his career, but he remains a solid two-way player, and working alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis could help him get rid of some of the bad shots he has become accustomed to taking.
Of course, the Lakers may prefer to try to land Kyrie Irving instead of VanVleet, but that may not be as realistic of an option for LA. However, it's clear a makeover of sorts is needed for Los Angeles' roster once again this offseason, and with VanVleet being named a potential target, it will be worth keeping an eye on the Lakers to see if they end up making a move here.