Why Fred VanVleet signing could turn into a disaster long-term

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The Houston Rockets spent several years in pursuit of a floor general following the trade of James Harden in 2021. John Wall was well past his prime and Kevin Porter Jr. wasn’t a true point guard.

The Rockets ultimately lured Fred VanVleet away from the Toronto Raptors, to the tune of a three-year deal worth $128.5 million. The deal includes a team option in year three, so VanVleet could theoretically be moved at the end of the season and essentially be treated like an expiring contract in 2025.

The Rockets’ decision to sign VanVleet wasn’t a bad one, as they needed a veteran leader, both on and off the court, and he knows what it takes to win a championship. The decision put an end to the James Harden reunion talks (even though the franchise could’ve ultimately still signed him in spite of FVV’s deal, so long as they didn’t add Dillon Brooks), so some fans weren’t so enthused about the move.

The Rockets' decision to sign Fred VanVleet could be a regretful one.

Considering how good Amen Thompson has looked, the Rockets didn’t have to sign FVV. And it’s worth questioning whether they would have if they knew Thompson would be NBA ready right away.

In other words, those reps could be going to Thompson.

If the Rockets don’t make the play-in tournament despite shelling out all that cash to FVV…..well, that would have arguably been a disaster.

Furthermore, FVV and Jalen Green haven’t quite meshed on the court. Granted, Green’s struggles are solely on him, so don’t think I’m saying otherwise.

But the Rockets will likely have a greater chance of getting a superstar by moving VanVleet than Green, based on the on-court production. FVV has more trade value than Green by far right now.

And ultimately, if you end up having to go that route (i.e. having FVV for one season and moving him in a deal to get a legitimate star), then it would have been a waste, because Thompson’s growth and development would have mattered more than VanVleet’s short-term production.

18 People who turned their backs on Rockets. dark. Next. Turned their backs on Rockets