Report: Los Angeles Clippers have been watching Fred VanVleet ‘closely’

David Akerman
4 Min Read

Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet is one player that might find himself playing for a new team sometime in the near future.

Plenty of teams across the league have been linked to the one-time All-Star, and the Los Angeles Clippers have apparently been watching him “closely.”

“Still, the Los Angeles Clippers are VanVleet fans and have been watching him closely,” wrote Michael Grange of Sportsnet. “The fit with the [Los Angeles] Lakers is pretty simple too.”

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus recently linked teams like the Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Washington Wizards and Orlando Magic to the talented guard.

A Raptors insider recently stated his belief that the team will trade one of VanVleet or Gary Trent Jr. ahead of the deadline. Due to the amount of interest the two have drummed up, it shouldn’t be too difficult for the Raptors to find a deal that they like.

VanVleet is likely to become a free agent after the conclusion of the 2022-23 season. He holds a player option for next season, but he’s reportedly expected to decline that and enter free agency in the summer.

A recent report stated that the 28-year-old believed he was a $30-35 million per year player before the season started. It remains to be seen whether or not the Raptors are interested in giving him that type of deal.

According to Grange, the belief is that VanVleet wants to remain with the Raptors, the only team he has played for so far in his NBA career.

After having a career year in the 2021-22 campaign, the one-time champ has regressed a bit this season. He’s currently recording 19.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game while knocking down 39.5 percent of his shots from the field and 34.1 percent of his attempts from downtown.

All of those numbers are slightly below his averages from last season, when the Raptors went 48-34, good enough for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Prior to the start of the 2022-23 regular season, plenty of people identified the Raptors as a team to keep an eye on. However, they haven’t lived up to expectations and instead sit in 12th place in the East with a 23-29 record.

Despite having a bit of a down season, VanVleet is still an extremely talented player with plenty of playoff experience. He could help plenty of squads that are looking to make some noise in the postseason.

It seems like the Clippers are looking for some guard help as they look to keep pace in the Western Conference. Reggie Jackson and John Wall haven’t been all too great this season, so it makes sense why the Clippers might be looking for a new point guard.

The team has also been linked to D’Angelo Russell and Kyle Lowry.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate who has experience in writing, editing and video production. He has been following the NBA and NFL for as long as he can remember.