2. Pascal Siakam is a franchise icon.
Perhaps the only drafted player in Raptors’ history to have a bigger impact on the Franchise’s success was DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan was instrumental in playoff runs for Toronto from 2014-2018. However, after he was traded for Kawhi Leonard, it was Siakam who stepped up and filled the shoes as a secondary scoring option in 2019.
Imagine if that sort of loyalty, and his insistence on staying when he could have demanded a trade multiple times, was rewarded with such an unusually timed trade.
The Toronto Raptors should benefit from everything Pascal Siakam has.
After making a huge improvement in points per game from 2018-2019, when he was the MIP, Siakam has been Toronto’s best scorer ever since. Siakam brings so much more to the table than just his scoring, as he does so with solid defensive efforts,
He is in perpetual motion, defending, rebounding, and scoring. Players who buy into the hard work and the Raptors’ team culture like him don’t come along daily.
There is a “growing sentiment” that if traded, Siakam would not sign a contract extension and enter free agency in the summer of 2024. Should he stick to this position, he could be an integral Raptor for a long time. A trade now would wound large chunks of the fan base, as Siakam is a true fan favorite.