NBA rumors: Suns could land Fred VanVleet amid Chris Paul trade buzz

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 31: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 31: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors will likely go above and beyond to make sure Fred VanVleet returns to the team on a long contract that compensates him well, but they will not be the only team that will try to break the bank as they try to add a standout performer at the point guard spot.

The Phoenix Suns could be in the market for a third star next to Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. Don’t they have Chris Paul already? Well, the latest rumors are making it seem like the idea of bringing Paul back is completely incompatible with Phoenix’s title pursuit.

Considering that the guaranteed money owed to CP3 will skyrocket this offseason, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon has reported that it is “unlikely” Paul will play with the Suns next season. The team still needs a point guard, however, as adding Durant means they must go all-out in pursuit of a title.

VanVleet has been linked to rebuilding teams like the Magic and Rockets in the past, but the idea of joining the Suns might appeal to someone who has clearly stated his intention to add a second championship ring to his mantlepiece. A strong contender has emerged for VanVleet’s services.

Will Toronto Raptors PG Fred VanVleet join the Suns?

VanVleet is fresh off an up-and-down season in which he only shot 39% from the field. It makes his 19.3 points and 7.2 assists per game on the offensive side of the ball look less impressive, as Raptors fans were starting to get genuinely annoyed with his performance down the stretch.

VanVleet might actually be a better fit on the Suns than the Raptors. While Toronto let him dominate the ball and shoot from the parking lot, having Durant and Booker on the team means that VanVleet won’t be the main offensive generator. He’s free to be more of a shooter and distributor, the latter of which he is still excellent at.

VanVleet is going to command a three or four-year deal that will assuredly go into nine figures. While Phoenix’s cap situation isn’t very savory considering the Paul and Deandre Ayton albatross deals, ownership has shown they are willing to pay any price to bring in reinforcements.

Given Ujiri’s respect for VanVleet, it would not be unreasonable to expect that he returns to the Raptors. That being said, teams like the Suns will likely be motivated to make a big splash to set themselves apart, and swapping out Paul for VanVleet would qualify.

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