The Toronto Raptors have been adamant that they will not explore trades for Pascal Siakam this offseason, but that facade could come crumbling down if a team out there believes that he is the best way to turn their squad into a contender. Will the New Orleans Pelicans try to snatch him away from Masai Ujiri?
While some initial rumors that New Orleans was looking to trade away Zion Williamson have since subsided, the fact that such a proposal was even in the rumor mill for an extended period of time is a hint that someone close to the Pelicans leaked that information for a purpose. What if a Godfather offer comes around?
The Sporting News believes that the time is right for New Orleans to build a team that can do some damage in the postseason. To further that end, they would part ways with Williamson in order to acquire Siakam, giving the Raptors a younger asset they can build around.
This deal would be hard to consummate, but there is a scenario where both sides benefit equally.
Grade the Trade: Could Raptors trade Pascal Siakam to the Pelicans?
Williamson, when healthy, is one of the best interior finishers and highlight-reel players this game has to offer. It doesn’t take a genius to see how having him in the paint could fix the Raptors’ issues with rebounding and scoring at the rim. However, Williamson is one bad landing away from disaster.
The Raptors are not the Knicks or Lakers. They can’t lean on their market size and prestige to lure in quality free agents. With multiple key starters in need of new contracts and no draft picks to add quality young talent, the Williamson-led Raptors would have minimal depth.
New Orleans would be getting the healthier player in this deal and the one with a better NBA pedigree, all while recouping multiple first-round picks. Williamson is a game-changer, but that is an eye-watering price for Ujiri and the Raptors to consider paying.
Williamson is a better player than Siakam in the long term, but this trade would saddle Toronto with another injury-prone player that is locked in for the next half-decade while surrendering most of their future draft capital. Williamson should be pursued if available, but this price is too steep.