Could The Lakers Pull Off A Trade For Fred VanVleet?
If the Lakers are going to turn their season around, they need to make a move. A name that could emerge as a sleeper trade target is Raptors guard Fred VanVleet.
The Raptors are in Blow It Up territory— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) December 19, 2022
-13-17 record, losers of 5 straight
-The team looks broken
-No realistic path to contention
-Only 3.5 back from the bottom 4
-Veterans they could get a haul for
-Young talent to build with, making it more of a retool and not a long rebuild pic.twitter.com/QEmfLKHZjz
Toronto now sits in 12th place in the Eastern Conference at 16-20. If they are unable to get it together by the deadline, they could sell and retool their roster. VanVleet made his first All-Star appearance last season, and is a valuable point guard.
Fred VanVleet tonight:— NBA (@NBA) December 15, 2022
39 PTS (season-high)
4 STL pic.twitter.com/gko91GTYRu
The 28-year-old is averaging 19/4/6, shooting 38.2% and 33.1% from three. It’s been a down-year for VanVleet shooting the ball as he is a career 37.6% shooter from downtown.
He’s a good shooter, scorer, defender, and playmaker. VanVleet would be an excellent fit next to LeBron and AD.
The Raptors may want to move him as he could enter free agency in the offseason unless he accepts his player option. Trading him could help them acquire draft picks.
If you’re reading this, you scored the same amount of points as Kendrick Nunn tonight.— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) December 22, 2022
For the Lakers, they could match VanVleet’s salary with Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn. Both guards have struggled for LA this season and are linked as the most likely trade package along with draft capital.
Pat Bev did the “too small” celly and even smacked the floor while down 21 in the 4th 😭 pic.twitter.com/d1mr41bfvj— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) December 22, 2022
Using Pat Bev and Nunn to make the salaries match would also allow Los Angeles to keep Russell Westbrook, who has thrived in his role as the 6th man.
Trading for VanVleet wouldn’t solve all of their problems, but he would bring a new element to the team. He would fit well in Ham’s system as the starting point guard. His all-around game makes him a good complement to the current big three.
Pelinka and the front office have some work to do. They have been reluctant to make a move as they seem to be waiting for the perfect trade to emerge.
VanVleet may not be a hot name in trade rumors, but he should be on Pelinka’s radar. If the Lakers can acquire VanVleet, it would be worth giving up their draft picks.