Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors was one player that was believed to be a trade candidate prior to the deadline a couple of weeks ago.
Though a trade involving the one-time All-Star did not end up going down prior to the deadline, it does look like VanVleet will have some suitors if he declines his player option after the 2022-23 season.
One suitor figures to be the Orlando Magic, who are reportedly willing to talk “serious money” with VanVleet once the NBA offseason gets underway.
“That’s what I just heard about Orlando with Fred that come summer, they would be willing to talk some serious money,” said NBA insider Jake Fischer.
Based on what is known about VanVleet’s financial goals, the Magic may need to cough up at least $30 million per season to add him to their roster.
Prior to the 2022-23 season, VanVleet reportedly considered himself worth somewhere between $30 and $35 million per season. It’s likely that those expectations on his end have not gone down, as he is currently putting up 19.7 points, 6.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.
When it comes to what the Magic see in VanVleet, it likely has to do with both his production on the court and his qualities as a leader off of it. VanVleet became a fan favorite in Toronto during the team’s 2019 NBA championship run. He is certainly a leader for the Raptors this season.
For a team like the Magic, getting veteran players with championship pedigree would be a logical next step in their current rebuild. The team has no shortage of young talent and could start to make some noise in the Eastern Conference in the near future.
However, in order to grow, young players often need to see and learn how winners prepare. VanVleet could certainly be that source of inspiration and knowledge for the young Magic squad.
The Magic could certainly be an attractive option for the 28-year-old. First of all, because of the tax laws in Florida, he’d surely see a bigger percentage of his contract money than he currently is.
Beyond that, the chance to help lead a team and build it from the ground up would surely be a great experience for the veteran.
Only time will tell what other serious suitors come to the table if VanVleet does in fact decide to reject his player option for next season.