Report: Fred VanVleet expected to sign with Klutch Sports amid Lakers’ interest in him

Zach Stevens
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t necessarily done making moves ahead of the NBA’s Feb. 9 trade deadline, and one player they’re reportedly interested in is Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet.

According to Marc Stein, VanVleet is expected to hire Klutch Sports, LeBron James’ agency, to represent him.

“The strong expectation in league circles is that Raptors guard Fred VanVleet plans to hire Klutch Sports as his new representation,” wrote Stein. “My pal and podcast partner Mr. Haynes reported earlier this week via Bleacher Report that VanVleet was in the process of hiring new agents in advance of free agency, with the seventh-year guard poised to become an unrestricted free agent unless he and the Raptors hash out a contract extension. Numerous teams around the league continue to wonder (perhaps I should say hope) that Toronto starts welcoming trade pitches for VanVleet in fear that it won’t be able to re-sign him. The guard-shy Orlando Magic have been increasingly mentioned as a likely prime VanVleet suitor this summer.”

VanVleet has been a fixture in Toronto for several years now. He has spent his entire seven-year career with the team, and he is averaging 19.1 points and 6.3 assists per game this season for the 22-27 Raptors.

The Wichita State University product was a key member of their 2019 championship team. He broke out that season, and he had 22 points and five 3-pointers in Game 6 of that year’s NBA Finals as Toronto claimed its first world title.

However, VanVleet’s efficiency has dropped off. He has been a dependable 3-point shooter over the last few years, but so far this season he is hitting just 34.1 percent from beyond the arc.

On the other hand, he appears to have some defensive ability, despite his 6-foot-1 frame, as he has averaged over 1.5 steals per game over the last four years.

The Lakers traded for forward Rui Hachimura on Monday, leading to speculation that another trade may be coming in the next couple of weeks. Brian Windhorst reported that they may focus on upgrading their backcourt, particularly in a trade that sends out veteran guard Patrick Beverley.

Los Angeles is reportedly interested in Mike Conley and Eric Gordon, as well as Cleveland Cavaliers wing Caris LeVert.

At this point, the team still needs a serious upgrade in terms of 3-point shooting. It currently ranks just 26th in 3-point shooting percentage, and it could use one or two more knockdown outside shooters in order to space the floor for its main offensive talents.

The Lakers still have decent trade capital they could use to acquire the type of player that could make them contenders right away.

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Zach has always had a profound love and respect for the Lakers that has inspired him to write about the franchise. He has a great deal of admiration for LeBron James, and his overall knowledge about the NBA has made him a solid addition to the Lakers Daily staff.