Fred VanVleet is the best guard available in free agency this season. Will the Toronto Raptors be able to retain their versatile star?
Any NBA team with cap space available this offseason will take a long look at the possibility of adding Fred VanVleet. He may not be a superstar capable of changing a franchise’s fortunes by himself, but he’s a versatile cog who can improve almost every team in the league.
VanVleet also has the distinction of being the best lead guard available on the open market this offseason. That gives him a great chance to secure a significant, long-term deal despite the small number of teams with significant open cap space.
The Raptors would like to bring him back, but they can’t afford to overpay him if they want to position themselves to potentially sign Giannis Antetekuonmp next summer. That opens the door for another team to swoop in and steal VanVleet away. The following five teams have the best chance to ink the former Wichita State star.
5. Miami Heat
The Heat also wants to position themselves to sign Giannis next summer. Signing VanVleet to a long-term deal might take them out of the race to land the Greek Freak. However, Miami might be tempted to make a move for VanVleet if they can’t retain Goran Dragic this summer.
The odds favor Dragic returning to Miami on a lucrative one-year deal, but there’s no certainty that he’ll accept that kind of short-term arrangement. If he walks, the Heat have to find a point guard good enough to keep them in the hunt for an NBA title. VanVleet is the only available free agent of that caliber.
His ability to guard opposing point guards while operating more as an off-the-ball guard on the offensive end of the floor makes him a great fit to play alongside Jimmy Butler. The Heat might be hesitant to spend big money on someone who isn’t a bonafide superstar, but they are on the fringes of the VanVleet race.