Fred VanVleet Declines His Player Option With the Raptors
After hiring Nick Nurse, there has been some speculation some of his Raptors players could follow him to Philly. Notably Fred VanVleet. The Raptors PG spoke very highly of Nick Nurse after the Sixers hired him. Which fueled rumors that a reunion could be in store. Well if that is what is going to happen, the first domino has fallen. Fred VanVleet declined his player option with the Raptors, making him a free agent.
VanVleet averaged 19.3 pts per game last year with 7.2 assists. He is not a natural PG but has filled the whole fairly well for what has been a struggling Raptors team the last couple of seasons. He is usually around a 37% 3pt shooter. Though that dipped a bit last season as teams focused more on him with there being less talent around him.
For the Sixers to be able to afford him, they will have to make some moves first. Harden just leaving in free agency won’t open up much cap space for them. However, a sign-and-trade could. As would trading Tobias Harris. He was due to make $22,824,074 with the Raptors had he accepted his player option. So that is the starting point for what any new contract would cost. A sign and trade is also a possibility. But whatever the case, Daryl Morey would have to get creative to make the money work.
The other issue would be his size. VanVleet is just 6ft, and Tyrese Maxey was just 6ft2. That would be a very small backcourt. And we saw that they already had a tough time this season with the size of the Celtics’ backcourt. It would require Joel Embiid to pick up even more slack on the defensive end. But Vanvleet would fill the Sixers’ hole at PG with a talented player, capable of scoring and creating on offense.
There are probably better names and fits out there. But VanVleet is a name to watch with the Sixers this offseason. Especially with his connection to new Sixers coach Nick Nurse.