NBA

NBA Rumors: A potential Lakers-Raptors trade would send Fred VanVleet to Los Angeles

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Ever since D’Angelo Russell landed in Los Angeles from Minnesota in the last trade deadline in February, things started to look up for the Lakers, as they shined all the way through until the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets. 

It seemed as if the former Timberwolves player was the perfect fit for this purple and gold squad. However, his performances went from best to worse this campaign, and by the postseason, many fans and analysts agreed he was at fault during his latest exhibitions.

Now it is rumored that he might be on his way out of California, and the trade speculation scene is catching fire with the possibilities. The latest story suggests that the Lakers’ future shooting guard might be in Canada.

Sean Davi of Bleacher Report has really digged up information about a potential transfer that will take Fred VanVleet to California this summer. According to the NBA insider, Russell and a 2027 second-round pick to Toronto might be a deal of interest for the Raptors.

“When we are talking about Fred VanVleet, I need to make this very, very clear,” Davi said. “We are only doing this deal if Fred VanVleet picks up his player option, right? Because if Fred VanVleet does not pick up his player option, then it’s a double sign-and-trade, which ultimately hard-caps both teams.”

The reporter said it plain and clear. “And I don’t think the Raptors will wanna hard-cap themselves for D’Angelo Russell and I don’t wanna hard-cap myself for Fred VanVleet”, he assured.

Davi was recently invited over to the “Lakers Nation” Podcast to talk to Trevor Lane about this potential offseason trade:

Russell, an Ohio State product, is to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Although he was fundamental during the second half of regular season, fans don’t seem able to forget how poorly he performed against the Nuggets.

The point guard only averaged 6.3 points and 3.5 assists while shooting 32.3% from the floor and 13.3% from beyond the arc against the top-seeded team in the Western Conference.

Is shooting guard Fred VanVleet a good fit for the purple and gold roster?

During the interview, Davi broke down VanVleet as a player, explaining why the one-time All-Star should fit perfectly in Los Angeles.

The 29-year-old, who signed a four-year, $85 million contract in Toronto three years ago, averaged 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds and 7.2 assists this season while shooting 39.3% from the field, 34.2% from range and 89.8% from free throws.

“Fred VanVleet, high volume on-ball player that is great in ball screens,” the reporter said. “93rd percentile in terms of ball screen usage. 70th or so percentile in terms of efficiency out of ball screens. 35.0% catch-and-shoot 3-point shooter this year. You would need that number to get back to the number it was in the 2021-22 season, which was around 40.2% on catch-and-shoot opportunities. So that’s the number you need it to be.”

The Raptors star shares the same agency called Klutch Sports Group, who deals with Lakers superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James.