Raptors news: Magic eyeing Fred VanVleet, Siakam talks ASG snub

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 09: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 09: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors could very well be in the final week of the Fred VanVleet era, as the franchise’s recent downward trajectory coupled with the idea of paying him a massive nine-figure contract in free agency seem incompatible. The trade rumors, naturally, are starting to fly.

While the Orlando Magic may have a worse record than the Raptors right now, their collection of standout young players need a veteran leader that can help them make a charge at the postseason in 2023. Even if the Magic don’t trade for him, they will make a run at him in the offseason.

According to ESPN’s Tim McMahon on the “Hoop Collective” podcast, the Magic are prepared to “throw a lot of money” at VanVleet in the offseason. Perhaps they could skip the line and get him in town early by trading for him ahead of Thursday’s deadline?

Franz Wagner and projected Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero give Orlando a dominant frontcourt, but the backcourt situation can be a bit muddled between Jalen Suggs, Markelle Fultz, and Cole Anthony. With no state tax in Florida, VanVleet could stand to really cash in if he signs with Orlando.

More Raptors news:

  • Eric Koreen of The Athletic noted that the Thad Young trade, which has become a maligned move in the eyes of some fans after Toronto blew a chance to draft Malaki Branham or Walker Kessler, is still a net positive for the organization. Koreen states that the leadership Young brought and instilled in the young guys will stay long after he leaves.
  • Pascal Siakam was snubbed from the 2023 All-Star game despite some extremely impressive numbers amassed over the course of the year. Siakam tried to deflect questions about his potential irritation at such a decision, claiming that he needs to “look at myself in the mirror” and play so well that he is an undisputed All-Star.

NBA news:

  • The Lakers, Mavericks, and Suns are teams that will be expected to make a run at Brooklyn Nets point guard and All-Star starter Kyrie Irving. While the Nets have been winning games lately, Irving’s recent frustration with the team appears to stem from a poorly received contract offer with money tied to winning a championship.
  • Timberwolves guard Austin Rivers and Magic center Mo Bamba got involved in a huge fight that saw five players ejected in Orlando’s 127-120 road victory. Rivers went after Bamba on a lengthy Instagram post, saying that he went at the entire Magic team with no backup and implying people only know who Bamba is due to the rap song named after him.

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