Fred VanVleet is not having himself a good (potential) contract year. The Toronto Raptors guard, in the midst of a disappointing season for him and his team, can enter free agency this offseason if he declines his player option. Rival teams like the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic will be looking to see what the 28-year-old will do.
VanVleet’s shooting efficiency, which was already somewhat shaky, is way down this season, especially from beyond the arc. Still, there will be teams interested in pursuing him in free agency. The Suns and Magic have “emerged as potential free-agent suitors,” according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The Raptors’ interest in keeping Fred VanVleet around seems to be waning. He recently said that the team never made a “formal offer” for him to stay and the team seems to be interested in moving him because of his declining performance, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports.
The Suns’ interest suggests that they are seriously preparing for Chris Paul’s decline as he approaches 38 years of age and continues to battle injuries. Phoenix is surely eager to keep open their window of contention and finding the right new point guard for Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton and company will be important to do. The Suns have started to consider long-term options.
Meanwhile, the Magic likely see Fred VanVleet as a reliable player to surround their young talents like Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr. Although they already have some young guards like Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony, FVV could be an immediate upgrade.