Stock fading: Fred VanVleet
The Rockets signed FVV to a three-year deal worth $128.5 million this summer in free agency. Landing the two-time All-Star was a key piece of Houston’s plan to jump back into contention. They need him to be their star, but things have not gone according to plan.
VanVleet is offering leadership and dishing out a career-high 8.2 assists per game, but his production is down in several key areas. The 6’1 guard is shooting just 37.6 percent from the field and creating just 0.5 steals per game. He has produced a career-worst defensive rating and his value over replacement player (VORP), effective field goal percentage, and win shares per 48 minutes are his lowest since his rookie season in 2017.
He has been hot and cold to start the year, but it is no coincidence that he has produced a positive plus/minus in the team’s three wins and a negative one in their losses. The Rockets need Fred VanVleet running their offense and playing like a star. He simply has to be better moving forward if Houston plans on making the playoffs.
The 2023-24 season is just two weeks in, and the Houston Rockets have 76 regular season games remaining. It is still early. The franchise has shown improvement, but can the Rockets get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2020? Stay tuned to find out.