Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the Phoenix Suns and Orlando Magic have emerged as potential free-agent destinations for Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet.
VanVleet has a $22.1 million player option for next season but could decline it and test free agency.
After earning his first career All-Star selection last season, VanVleet has seen his performance decline in 2022-23. In 36 games, the 28-year-old is averaging 18.2 points on just 37.6% shooting, including a career-worst 32.8% from three-point range.
“Some nights the ball finds you, and some nights it doesn’t. That’s where I’m struggling this year, the out-of-rhythm games,” said VanVleet. “I might get a couple catch and shoots, a couple contested shots, off the dribble…and then I get three wide-open ones at the end of the game when we need them.”
The Suns and Magic are interesting suitors. Phoenix has point guards Chris Paul and Cameron Payne under contract for next season, while Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony have flashed in Orlando. Perhaps neither team waits until free agency and makes a play at this year’s trade deadline? We shall see.
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