NBA Rumors: 3 Potential Contender Destinations For Fred VanVleet

The buzz around Toronto Raptors' leader Fred VanVleet is that he will be opting out of his $22.8M player option for 2023-24. But according to one Insider, VanVleet could also sign an extension with the Raptors—with an eye towards joining a contender elsewhere. 

According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, the new CBA rules would allow VanVleet to sign an extension in July as part of a trade with a starting salary for 2024-25 as high as $32M. He's said to be seeking money somewhere north of the $30M mark.

If that's the plan, there are three contenders that enter the picture as potential destinations for the former NBA champ.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers had a point guard problem for much of this season. They eventually signed Russell Westbrook off the buyout market and he actually worked out fairly well. But they likely won't be able to keep him, as they are only allowed to pay him 120% above the league minimum. Given he's coming off a $47M annual salary, it's unlikely Westbrook would accept close to the minimum to return. 

That makes the Clippers a team looking for a winning point guard and a vocal team leader—something FVV can provide. Plus, he won a title four years ago with two current members of the Clippers, Kawhi Leonard and Norman Powell. 

Brooklyn Nets

The Ben Simmons experiment has been a colossal flop, and the Nets are in desperate need of a floor leader who's ready to compete, and be available to play. VanVleet's name was mentioned in trade rumors with the Nets around the trade deadline, and if they can work out an extend-and-trade deal with Toronto this summer with some of their impressive list of assets acquired in the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving trades, something could get done here. 

Phoenix Suns

Has anyone noticed that the Suns have done just fine without Chris Paul in the lineup the past two games in their series against the Denver Nuggets?

Certainly, Stephen A. Smith has. He says the Suns are playing better at a faster pace. If they're ready to move on from the slower, older Chris Paul, Fred VanVleet could be just the ticket to move into their lead guard slot. But do they have any assets left to work out a trade suitable for the Raptors?