No. 2: Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors
One of the greatest needs for a team with a top-shelf rookie big man is a player who can get the ball to him, a point guard or point forward who will set his teammate up for success. It helps to accelerate their transition into the league and unlocks offensive heights a big cannot reach on their own. Anthony Davis was better for having Jrue Holiday; Deandre Ayton soared with the addition of Chris Paul.
Point guard is, right now, the greatest weakness in the Spurs' lineup. Tre Jones is an underrated player but ultimately a backup, and neither Malaki Branham nor Blake Wesley are true table-setters. Enter Fred VanVleet, who brings championship experience, plus passing and floor-spacing all in one.
VanVleet made the All-Star Game a season ago in his best season as a pro, but he has been a plus-starter for the Toronto Raptors for four-plus years now. The onetime undrafted free agent cut his teeth alongside Kyle Lowry and then took the reigns, but now hits unrestricted free agency with a chance to choose his own fate.
That could lead VanVleet to San Antonio to be the veteran point guard who helps Victor Wembanyama grow up into a dominant force. VanVleet appears to be a solid leader and was a finalist for the NBA's Twyman Stokes teammate of the year award in 2022. Could he become the teammate of the year for Wembanyama this summer?