New head coach Ime Udoka’s desire to land a veteran point guard makes the Rockets a strong contender for Fred VanVleet in free agency, sources tell Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Houston will be part of a large group of teams expected to pursue VanVleet, who remains open to re-signing with the Raptors, Scotto adds.
The Suns expressed interest in VanVleet the last time he was a free agent, Scotto notes. Chris Paul appears to be on the way out of Phoenix, as Scotto’s sources say the team has discussed a number of trade scenarios, including a proposed deal reported Saturday that would send him to Washington as part of a package for Bradley Beal.
The Lakers would also like to add VanVleet, according to Scotto, but would probably need to work out a sign-and-trade with the Raptors to make it happen. That would require Toronto to have interest in D’Angelo Russell, who is also a free agent.
VanVleet has also been linked to the Magic because president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman previously worked in Toronto, but Scotto cites skepticism that Orlando is ready to make a big free agent move while the core of the team is still young.
Scotto passes along more inside information:
- The Grizzlies are a team to watch if the Raptors decide to part with OG Anunoby, Scotto states. Memphis is offering future first-round draft picks to add a wing player, according to Scotto’s sources, and Anunoby would be an attractive target if he becomes available. Scotto notes that the Grizzlies were willing to give four first-round picks to Brooklyn in February for Mikal Bridges, and the need for wing help has increased with Dillon Brooks not expected back next season.
- League executives tell Scotto that they expect Khris Middleton to re-sign with the Bucks for about $130MM over four years if he turns down his $40.4MM player option. Milwaukee is hoping to re-sign Brook Lopez as well, Scotto adds, but the veteran center will likely get an offer from the Rockets.
- Donte DiVincenzo is expected to turn down his $4.7MM player option and receive better offers than the Warriors can match. One executive told Scotto that DiVincenzo is likely to be offered the non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which is well above the four-year, $23.2MM deal that Golden State can give him due to cap restrictions. Scotto hears that the Warriors have also received interest in Jonathan Kuminga from several teams that believe he can be more successful with an increased role.
- The Mavericks have expressed interest in Celtics free agent forward Grant Williams, who has the same agent as Luka Doncic, sources tell Scotto. Dallas has also considered bringing back former Maverick Harrison Barnes, Scotto adds.
- League executives expect the Bulls to re-sign center Nikola Vucevic, likely for about $65MM over three years, according to Scotto.