NBA Rumors: Nuggets May Consider Stealing Fred VanVleet From Raptors, Per 'Nugg Love'

Fred VanVleet driving into the basket
Keith Allison | Wikimedia Commons
Basketball

The Denver Nuggets are one of the NBA teams that are expected to be active on the trade market before the 2022 trade deadline. With the core of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter Jr., and Aaron Gordon, it's not hard to predict the Nuggets making their fourth consecutive appearance in the playoffs in the 2021-22 NBA season. However, capturing the Larry O'Brien Trophy is a different story.

If they want to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and ending their title drought, they should strongly consider making another major roster upgrade.

Nuggets Could Take Advantage Of Raptors' Situation

Fred VanVleet trying to score against the Wizards
Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bradley_Beal,_Fred_VanVleet_(40543944482).jpg

One of the teams that could help the Nuggets improve is the Toronto Raptors. After parting ways with veteran point guard Kyle Lowry in the 2021 free agency, multiple signs are pointing out that the Raptors would be undergoing a full-scale rebuild. Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri may not have directly said it but in a recent interview, he admitted that Toronto is currently not a team of "now," according to NBC Sports.

If they decide to focus on developing their young players instead of trying to win their second NBA championship title next season, there's a strong chance for the Raptors to become major sellers before the 2022 trade deadline.

Fred VanVleet To Nuggets

Fred VanVleet finding an open teammate
Wikimedia | https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:20150111_Donte_Ingram_defending_Fred_VanVleet.jpg

In a recent article, Sean Carroll of Fansided's Nugg Love named some of the players that the Nuggets could try to steal from the Raptors. These include OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet.

Of all three Raptors' players that he mentioned, Carroll believes that VanVleet is the "most likely to end up" with the Nuggets before the 2022 trade deadline. To acquire VanVleet, Carroll suggested that the Nuggets could offer a package that includes Aaron Gordon or Will Barton, together with young prospects and future draft assets.

Fred VanVleet's On-Court Impact On Nuggets

VanVleet would be a great addition to the Nuggets. His potential arrival in the Mile High City would help the Nuggets improve their performance on both ends of the floor. He would give them a very reliable third-scoring option behind Jokic and Murray, as well as a decent rebounder, playmaker, perimeter defender, and floor-spacer.

Last season, the 27-year-old shooting guard averaged 19.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 1.7 steals while shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Fred VanVleet Forms Explosive Backcourt Duo With Jamal Murray

Fred VanVleet on court in a Raptors t-shirt.
Fred VanVleet | Instagram

Trading for VanVleet would make a lot of sense for the Nuggets, especially now that Murray is still recovering from an injury. VanVleet could temporarily serve as the team's starting point guard until Murray returns to perfect shape and regains his All-Star form.

When Murray fully recovers, he and VanVleet won't have a hard time building chemistry in the Nuggets' backcourt. Though he's capable of making plays for his teammates, his experience playing with Kyle Lowry gave VanVleet the opportunity to learn how to excel in an off-ball capacity.