Toronto Raptors’ star player and top scoring option Pascal Siakam has been subject to several trade rumors throughout this NBA offseason. Amongst this trade speculation, the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks have been linked to Siakam, with the Hawks being rumored as the primary suitor for his services.
Throughout the offseason, it has been noted by multiple NBA sources that Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster have been seeking to maximize trade value in talks for Siakam. As written recently by Shams Charania for The Athletic, the Atlanta Hawks have tried and failed to acquire him in trade talks.
While Siakam has been one of the most coveted names in trade talks this offseason, rumors of him being traded have calmed down. With the lack of talent available for trade and the NBA training camp starting in mid-late September, keeping Siakam around for at least part of this upcoming season makes the most sense for the Raptors.
3 reasons Pascal Siakam will remain with the Toronto Raptors.
Limited options on the trade market
With the Hawks and Pacers being linked to Siakam, several players on both teams would make an enticing return for the Raptors. However, the players that have been speculated in these trade rumors have not been enough for Ujiri to pull the trigger on a deal.
According to Charania, Atlanta’s package of De’Andre Hunter, AJ Griffin, and draft picks were not enough. Thus, if Ujiri and Webster believe that they are not getting enough in return for their No. 1 scoring option, then it does not make sense for them to make this trade at this point.
Siakam wants to stay in Toronto
Throughout this trade speculation, it has been evident that Siakam wants to remain as a Raptor. According to multiple reports during this offseason, if Siakam were to get traded, he would be reluctant to sign an extension with that team. In Siakam’s season-ending press conference with the Raptors, he expressed his love and desire to remain in Toronto, mentioning that the city is a part of his identity.
As Siakam’s contract is due to finish at the end of this upcoming season, he can sign an extension with the Raptors for four years and $192 million. For Siakam, signing this extension would be in his best interests, as the Raptors can offer him the most money in a contract.
Ultimately, while it has been speculated that the Raptors and Siakam have not had any meaningful conversations regarding an extension recently, it would make the most sense for the Raptors to lock up their top-scoring option and keep their homegrown talent in Toronto.
There could be better options at the trade deadline
If the Raptors are going to trade Siakam, then they should consider waiting until the trade deadline. Since the Raptors have not been receiving offers they consider worth Siakam’s value, they are better off waiting to see if there are better offers during the season.
While this can be a risky decision, the trade deadline calls for contending teams to make a move that will upgrade their roster and increase their chances at the championship. Thus, the Raptors can wait until the deadline when teams are in desperation mode and use Siakam’s value as leverage to maximize a deal.
If the Raptors are not content with the deals that they are receiving, then they should strongly consider extending Siakam to a long-term deal. Besides, Siakam is still in his prime at 29 years old and is coming off a strong season where he averaged almost 25 points a game.
Overall, if the Raptors want to be in the mix for a playoff spot this upcoming season, they must seriously think about the consequences of losing their best offensive threat.