Grade the Trade: Raptors linked to shocking Pascal Siakam-Nets scenario

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 2: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors reacts against the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 2: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors reacts against the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors are not going to get one moment of reprieve as the Pascal Siakam trade rumors continue to swirl. The Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers have thrown their hats in the ring, and the Brooklyn Nets may have the assets to tempt Toronto if they are so inclined.

The Nets have multiple B/B+ players on the roster, but the team could flip the script if they package some of their role players and acquire a star. With Damian Lillard turning them down, their focus could shift to Toronto, thanks to the Siakam noise. 

The Nets will likely not part with Mikal Bridges or Cam Johnson, as they will build their new-look team from the ashes of the Phoenix Suns team that was dismantled to acquire Kevin Durant. There are ways to get an equitable deal.

What Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report proposes, however, is not that. Swartz’s deal involves Siakam going to Brooklyn and Ben Simmons coming back to Toronto as the epicenter of the Nets’ package. How would that make Toronto better?

Grade the Trade: Toronto Raptors trade Pascal Siakam to Nets

The only way Ujiri would do a trade like this is at gunpoint. Trading Siakam has some merit from a pure asset management standpoint, but none of these assets come close to replicating the skills that Siakam brings to the table in 2023 and beyond. Why would the Raptors do this?

Thomas is a terrific scorer who has been criminally underutilized by the Nets, but he’s far from an adequate No. 2 asset in a Siakam deal. Finney-Smith is fine, but not a needle-mover. The two Phoenix picks could be valuable if the Suns’ experiment blows up in their face, but that is assuming their star-laden superteam falls apart.

The elephant in the room, obviously, is Simmons, who may have the worst contract in the league and is coming off his worst offensive season in the league. The Raptors can’t afford to pay all their players, but why would they even consider taking up so much of their cap by bringing Simmons back and trading away a franchise icon?

The Raptors may end up trading Siakam once all the uncertainty surrounding this team stops swirling, and the Nets might be a team willing to deal with Toronto due to the boatload of assets they have. However, a Simmons-centric package with some less desirable picks would be a nightmare for Masai Ujiri.

Grade: D-

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