The Toronto Raptors may not end up trading Pascal Siakam due to the inability of the rest of the league to meet Masai Ujiri’s asking price. Potential suitors in what would become a league-changing trade are starting to drop like flies in a sharp turn of momentum.
The Atlanta Hawks were viewed as the frontrunner for Siakam for months on end, but the extension of Dejounte Murray and the unwillingness of Siakam to sign a contract with any team that trades for him have made it very difficult for the new-look front office down south to make an offer.
The Orlando Magic appeared to be on the fringes of the Siakam race, as they have a potential rotation logjam due to years of drafting high and developing young prospects. However, there appears to be no clear path to the Raptors finding a trade partner in Orlando.
According to venerable insider Marc Stein, the Magic’s interest in Siakam was not overly concrete or robust.
“Orlando was downplayed as a destination almost as soon as it emerged as a reported destination,” Stein wrote. “I am still trying to find out more.” Siakam may need to postpone his trip to Disney World.
Orlando Magic not interested in Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam.
This has to be slightly disheartening for Ujiri and the Raptors, as Orlando could have given the Raptors multiple young players and draft picks in exchange for Siakam. Fans who wanted to see Toronto target another point guard could have found a perfect trade partner in the Magic.
Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, and Markelle Fultz were already fighting for playing time before the 2023 NBA Draft, and the addition of a point forward in Anthony Black makes their guard rotation even more difficult to figure out. A Toronto trade could be hard to figure out, despite the connections in that front office.
Siakam is a free agent at the end of the season, and making an all-in move like that could be too much, too fast for a young Orlando team. He could create a frontcourt logjam alongside Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter Jr.
The Raptors have leverage here, as they are not in a position where a Siakam deal is a foregone conclusion. As such, Orlando seemed unwilling to change their timeline to contention and acquire a player like Siakam at this point in the NBA offseason.