Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors could decline his $22,824,074 player option for the 2023-24 season, and sportsbooks have now released his next team odds for when and if the 2019 NBA champ decides to test the open market this offseason. Check out the next team odds below.
According to the BetOnline sportsbook, the Phoenix Suns (+300) are the betting favorites to sign the All-Star guard, followed by the Houston Rockets (+400), Orlando Magic (+600), and Miami Heat (+600). If his goal is to win another NBA championship, Phoenix or Miami are ideal destinations.
Fred VanVleet Next Team Odds If Not Raptors In 2023 NBA Offseason: Suns Top List As Favorites
Phoenix Suns (+300)
Fred VanVleet could head to the southwest this offseason. The Phoenix Suns have struggled to win elimination playoff games on their home court since falling short in the 2021 NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks. Adding the seven-year veteran to the roster would boost the team’s offense.
In 69 starts with Toronto in the 2022-23 season, VanVleet averaged 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, a career-high 7.2 assists, 1.8 steals, and 37.7 minutes per game. Plus, the Wichita State product shot 39.3% from the floor, 34.2% beyond the arc, and a career-best 89.8% at the foul line.
A change in scenery could help build his NBA career résumé. Moreover, the Raptors guard would play alongside Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant. Phoenix has never won an NBA championship.
Last December, Mat Ishbia agreed with then-majority Suns owner Robert Sarver to acquire the franchise and WNBA team Phoenix Mercury for $4 billion. New ownership can make all the difference.
Not to mention, a new head coach. Following the Suns’ second-round playoff series loss to the Denver Nuggets, the organization fired head coach Monty Williams.
Houston Rockets (+400)
Next, the Houston Rockets are another potential suitor for Fred VanVleet. After Houston finished 22-60 and 14th in the Western Conference standings, the organization dismissed head coach Stephen Silas.
In April, the Rockets hired former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka to replace Silas.
Under Udoka in Houston, the Rockets’ offense would benefit having Fred VanVleet play with Jalen Green, Jae’Sean Tate, and Jabari Smith Jr. And Smith was a finalist for the NBA Rookie of the Year award.
On Wednesday, James Harden announced plans to opt out of his multi-year deal to become a potential free agent. The 10-time All-Star has a $35.64 million player option for the 2023-24 season, but he’s seeking a larger deal. Houston is favored to sign him. Imagine a backcourt with VanVleet and James Harden.
Houston holds the fourth and 20th overall picks in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft.
Orlando Magic (+600)
Even if Fred VanVleet signed with the Orlando Magic this offseason, G.M. John Hammond would still need to add another star player to transform his team into a playoff contender. Unless VanVleet is satisfied with the championship ring he already has, it would make more sense for the Raptors guard to join an existent contender.
Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick from last year’s draft, won the NBA Rookie of the Year award after averaging 20 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 33.8 minutes per game through 72 starts. VanVleet would fit in with Bol Bol, Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, and Wendell Carter Jr.
But Orlando needs more veteran leadership. In the 2022-23 season, the Magic went 34-48 and finished 13th in the Eastern Conference standings. While it was an improvement on their 22-60 record from the 2021-22 season, the team is not a Fred VanVleet-esque player away from qualifying for the playoffs.
Orlando has the sixth and 11th overall picks in the 2023 NBA Draft.
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Source: Basketball Insider