2. Fred VanVleet
While Fred VanVleet might not have the resume of Chris Paul, he still has found a way to establish himself as one of the top point guards in the NBA. From going undrafted in 2016 to a Championship in 2019 (where he infamously called out Coach Pop) to an All-Star appearance in 2022, the Raptors have always been able to count on VanVleet to lead their offense with his scoring and playmaking abilities.
VanVleet averaged 19.3 points, 7.2 assists, and 1.8 steals per game for a Toronto team stuck in play-in limbo last season. He recently declined his $22.8 million player option from the Raptors, enabling him to become a free agent. If he decides to let bygones be bygones with the Silver and Black, the undersized sharpshooter could provide a veteran floor general presence to the young Spurs, working with Victor Wembanyama in the pick-and-roll, and use his pull-up prowess to accelerate the offense.
VanVleet is also only 29 years old, meaning if San Antonio signs him to a deal, it would let them get more out of him than an aging CP3. Because of this, it's reasonable to assume that FVV could be getting a deal worth around $30 million annually, which would limit the amount of cap space the Spurs could use to sign other free agents. However, with his championship experience, VanVleet could be the ideal point guard to help bridge the gap between rebuilding and playoff contention for San Antonio.
So who should the Spurs go with to be their point guard of the future and present? Ideally, Fred VanVleet makes more sense if the Spurs want to spend some of their cap on a high-profile free agent, and his skillset can fit perfectly into any team's offense. He comes with less mileage than a player like Chris Paul. However, CP3 could still be serviceable to San Antonio despite his age and recent injuries as long as he has a reasonable price attached to him.
There were rumors that the Spurs were willing to trade up for another lottery pick, with their sights set on young guard prospects like Cason Wallace, Anthony Black, and Kobe Bufkin. While the front office has the asset to make a move happen, other organizations were unwilling to shake hands on a deal on Thursday night. With that option off the table, the Silver and Black have a decision to make between re-signing Tre Jones and pursuing CP3 or VanVleet in free agency.