Fred VanVleet at top of list for Lakers this offseason
According to Shams Charania, Fred VanVleet is one of the free agents at the top of the list for the Lakers this offseason.
LeBron James wants to shift into the role of a secondary scorer and playmaker in the late stages of his career. Adding a lead guard to run the offense and shoot the ball would fill this role.
VanVleet is a great playmaker, has experience running an offense, and can be a high-quality third or fourth-scorer.
The 29-year-old guard averaged 19/4/7 this season, along with 1.8 steals per game. VanVleet is a quality defender but can only defend guards due to his 6’1’’ size. His playmaking, scoring, and defense would be an excellent fit for LA.
The Lakers could use a guard like VanVleet that can run the offense rather than being a primary scorer.
After D'Angelo Russell struggled in the Conference Finals, they are interested in pursuing a new point guard this season. Russell was pivotal to the Lakers' turnaround this season but struggled mightily in the Conference Finals.
Russell is a solid playmaker but thrives as a scorer. VanVleet’s skillset better fits around James and Anthony Davis.
VanVleet also has championship experience, as he won a title with the Raptors in 2019.
There are many benefits to signing VanVleet. VanVleet would be an even better fit than Irving and would be cheaper. VanVleet should be cheaper than a max contract, which would also give the Lakers room to re-sign Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura.
REPORT: The Lakers are ready to match offers for Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura 👀— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) May 24, 2023
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Keeping Reaves and Hachimura, who were pivotal for LA this season, and upgrading at point guard with VanVleet would be an ideal offseason.
The Lakers should absolutely pursue VanVleet this offseason over Irving, as his fit and price make much more sense.