Dejounte Murray update might end Raptors’ Pascal Siakam trade discussions

Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks. Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks. Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images /

The Toronto Raptors have been trying to navigate the trade rumor mill for the last few months, wondering if anyone is going to bite on one of their big names. Pascal Siakam remains the biggest of those names, and the Atlanta Hawks have valiantly tried to acquire him.

Any sort of Siakam trade package heading to Atlanta likely would be headlined by Dejounte Murray, as the Hawks lack tons of first-round picks to toss Toronto’s way, and Murray’s salary looked very tradeable. Not to mention, Murray is one of the best two-way players at any position in the league.

Getting trades done with the Raptors can already be a very difficult proposition, as Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster are not going to accept anything less than peak value for one of their best players. However, Doing so without Murray could prove incredibly difficult for the regime over there.

Murray signed a four-year extension worth up to $120 million with the Hawks, setting up a future where he and Trae Young are inexorably locked in as the starting backcourt. As a part of this extension, Murray can not be traded for six months.

This makes it even more challenging (some might say impossible) for the Raptors and Hawks to move forward in Siakam trade talks.

Raptors’ Pascal Siakam trade hurt by Deounte Murray extension

Why would the Raptors even consider a Siakam trade package when the best piece they could get back is Murray? Why wouldn’t they just extend Siakam, who is a better player, and figure out other ways to build this roster around their Cameroonian star and Scottie Barnes?

While the Hawks have a very impressive collection of young players, no deal was getting consummated without Murray heading back the other way. Onyeka Okongwu and AJ Griffin are nice players that will both have long careers in this league, but they are not unquestioned headliners in a deal of this magnitude.

Trading for Siakam is already very difficult for prospective contenders. Not only does he have one year remaining on his contract, but rumors claim that he is not willing to sign an extension elsewhere and wants to remain in Toronto. Any team who acquires him might be playing with fire.

The Raptors are not in a position to compete for a championship right now, so the idea of trading some of their impending free agents makes a ton of sense for those eyeing a more complete full-scale rebuild. However, if Murray isn’t coming up north, a trade with Atlanta could be hard to hammer out.

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