The Phoenix Suns should NOT pursue Fred VanVleet

Fred VanVleet Phoenix Suns (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Fred VanVleet Phoenix Suns (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

It honestly has nothing to do with Fred at the end of the day, it’s all about establishing and continuing that continuity for the Suns.

As our own Adam Stratton wrote about this week, the Phoenix Suns are expected to pursue Raptors guard Fred VanVleet in free agency this offseason. VanVleet is a fine player who is averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 assists on a whopping 39% from downtown. He has absolutely exploded down the stretch for the Raptors and is a huge reason why they are every bit the contender this year that they were when they won the NBA championship.

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The question that the Phoenix Suns should consider is: should they indeed go after VanVleet? The answer to me, quite simply, is no.

It is nothing to do with VanVleet. His shooting and passing ability would be a great addition to the team, and although he is short, he is a gamer and one who uses his solid frame defensively to hold his own against most matchups. He can swing between both guard positions on both ends due to his skill set, and his type of play would lend itself to playing with both Ricky Rubio and Devin Booker.

However, (and this is something Adam touched on in his piece) unless you are playing one of Rubio or VanVleet as the off-guard and sliding Booker to the small forward spot, someone would have to come off the bench. It sure as shooting isn’t going to be Booker, so we have that out of the way.

VanVleet’s skill set would fit in well with Phoenix, but who would come off the bench between him, Ricky Rubio, and Devin Booker? (It ain’t Booker)

Now between Rubio (who is very much still a starter at this stage of his career) and VanVleet (who is also a starter, even if fairly recently) who comes off the bench for the Suns? And since VanVleet is a starting-caliber guard, would he feel OK with sacrificing that role for a team that, while strong, is admittedly weaker than his former team, where he had a starring role?

That question to me is the major one that needs answering, and I don’t feel comfortable enough with that answer to endorse VanVleet to Phoenix. He is a good player, and if the Suns do indeed pursue him I don’t think it is the end of the world. However, I do not think it is a wise choice moving forward.

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