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#pounditMonday, March 27, 2023

Fred VanVleet hinting at interest in 1 rival team?

Mar 1, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) before the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It may be time to bring out the deerstalker hat and the magnifying glass for Fred VanVleet’s latest social media post.

The Toronto Raptors guard VanVleet, a very buzzed-about trade candidate, raised some eyebrows on Wednesday with an interesting post to Instagram. VanVleet shared an image of Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker whispering into his ear. He did not include a caption in the post either.

At first glance, the post might not have seemed like much since the Raptors and Suns played each other Tuesday and since many opposing players are close with each other. But there is some important context here — Phoenix has already been mentioned as a potential suitor for VanVleet, either at the trade deadline or in the offseason when VanVleet will become a free agent.

A video of Suns GM James Jones and Raptors GM Masai Ujiri walking off together during Tuesday’s game also drew attention.

The Suns have good reason to think about upgrading at the point guard spot seeing as Chris Paul will be 38 this May while Cam Payne, Damion Lee, and Saben Lee are not quite starting caliber. VanVleet, a 2022 All-Star who can give you 20 points a night, is probably well aware of Phoenix’s interest in him. But he is just one of several players facing an uncertain future in Toronto right now.

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