Sixers “unlikely” to pursue Fred VanVleet in free agency

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Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) drives as Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) and forward Georges Niang (20) defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022 in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Offseason rumors and reports continue to fly around the Philadelphia 76ers, and while the story remains focused on the future of James Harden, many other names have floated around the rumor mill. Wizards star Bradley Beal is one such name, though it seems to have been dispelled, while Fred VanVleet has often been unofficially linked to the Sixers quite often in recent weeks.

The connection is understandable for several reasons. The Sixers, assuming James Harden plays elsewhere next season, arguably have a strong need for a starting point guard. Fred VanVleet is also in search of a solid pay bump this offseason, and through a sign-and-trade, the Sixers could potentially accommodate. Then the final and biggest connection, VanVleet’s previous head coach, whom he is still vocally supportive of, is now running the show in Philadelphia. It’s not hard to paint a picture of mutual interest.

Despite this, a recent report from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports suggests that the newly appointed coach and his former point guard are currently not expected to reunite in Philadelphia.

The pair of former Raptors have history, legacy, and a strong bond, but as far as the tea leaves read so far, they will not share a team for the first time in Fred VanVleet’s career. Regarding the Sixers, Fischer explained that the franchise is more focused on retaining James Harden, in a financially responsible fashion, for the time being at least.

Could things change? Perhaps. For now, it seems Philadelphia is more focused on keeping their core intact and making moves around the margins. Should that change, Philly Sports Network will be there to keep you informed.