RAPTORS BLOG: Phoenix Suns decision not to bid on Fred VanVleet worked for all

The playmaker has become a star talent with Toronto while the Suns have added Chris Paul

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Boy made the Raptors dodge a bullet when the Phoenix Suns decided not to go after Fred VanVleet when he was a free agent a few seasons ago.

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You might recall that the rumor mill had the Suns as the main contender for VanVleet and most of us were extremely confused when Phoenix, an interesting young team in desperate need of a good point guard, n didn’t even make an offer. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said he heard the team was looking to cut costs and were unwilling to spend the money on free agency.

It was a missed opportunity nonetheless, but it helped the Raptors hold onto VanVleet’s contract a bit, and Phoenix went very well when Chris Paul fell into the team’s lap a few months later. In the end, everyone was happy.

It’s too bad for VanVleet that Phoenix coach Monty Williams is in the Western Conference, because it sure looks like VanVleet would get a star vote from Williams (coaches choose reserves from their respective conferences, which doesn’t not benefit VanVleet here).

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“I’m not sure there’s anyone playing better than him in the East,” Williams said before Phoenix secured a victory over the shorthanded Raptors.

“I’ve always seen him as a guy who has figured out how to dominate the game from behind the scenes. Now, for the past two years, he’s been dominating front and centre.

Williams, like other coaches recently, has relied on VanVleet with his team’s defensive plans and VanVleet got a healthy dose of Mikal Bridges, Phoenix’s answer to OG Anunoby.

“He’s definitely one of those guys that keeps you up at night when you watch the movie and you watch why this team is playing the way they are right now, that’s pretty much him,” Williams said. .

And when Williams described VanVleet’s impact as follows: “Not a lot of flash. He just does it,” it echoed what opposing coaches had been saying for so many years about Kyle Lowry.

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Phoenix has all the pieces in hand to compete for the NBA title again (the Suns are one of the few franchises without a championship). The Suns are in a group with Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Golden State and Utah who have legitimate aspirations to win it all this season. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see the entire Raptors team against this group. Not having Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. cost Toronto a lot of points and a few saves as well. Yuta Watanabe and Svi Mikhailiuk provided almost nothing in attack. In a match as close as this, it could well have made the difference.

Too many people don’t admit that they were wrong about something. I was wrong to strongly criticize the Memphis Grizzlies for the Jonas Valanciunas-Steven Adams deal. While I still prefer Valanciunas to Adams and like him better in this roster, Zaire Williams is starting to come in (after looking awful when I called off the deal) and I understand they’ve added another pick as well first round and probably wouldn’t have been able to pay Valanciunas what he wanted and all the other good players they have coming in for contracts soon. It’s a deal that made sense for both sides, as Valanciunas is a great fit for the Pelicans and New Orleans has so many extra draft picks from trades for Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, that dealing one and swapping with another wasn’t a big deal. .

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ANCIENT RAPTOR OF THE NIGHT:

DeMar DeRozan.

DeRozan’s push for a starting star spot continued with a solid game in a blowout win over Detroit. DeRozan scored 20 points, added 12 rebounds and seven assists. He probably would have earned his second career triple-double had the game been close.

NIGHT CANADIAN:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

SGA had crumbled lately, but erupted in a tough loss to Washington. He had a game-high 32 points, eight assists and 13-22 shots.

Hopefully tanking Thunder doesn’t shut him down again like they did last season.

THREE STARS

1 Chris Paul

2Pascal Siakam

3 Chris Boucher

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