According to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt, the Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors and Kyle Lowry of the Miami Heat ahead of this season’s trade deadline.
“The Raptors are a hot topic,” Zillgitt wrote. “Will they blow it up? Make minor moves? Do nothing at all? It’s another interesting situation because the Raptors have players other teams want, including Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes, the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year. Adding intrigue is the contract situations: Siakam and Anunoby can become free agents in 2024, VanVleet a free agent following this season and Barnes is looking for a significant raise on a rookie extension.
“The 17-23 Raptors have financial decisions to make at some point. Keep this in mind, too: Under team president Masai Ujiri and general manager Bobby Webster, the Raptors are not known for major deals at the trade deadline. VanVleet is worth watching, and with his name linked to a possible Lakers deal, don’t discount a sly move for VanVleet by Orlando.
“The Heat are notoriously tight-lipped about their plans. But around the league, it’s believed the Heat are willing to shed Kyle Lowry’s contract, which pays him $29.6 million in 2023-24. The Heat, who reached the Finals in 2020 and the conference finals last season, are 21-20 and in eighth place. Lowry is another player who has been linked to a potential deal with the Lakers, and Minnesota sending D’Angelo Russell to Miami for Lowry would net the Heat an expiring contract.”