The Toronto Raptors are widely expected to trade one of their key starters, as there seems to be no way the team can retain Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr. amid their impending free agencies. Toronto can’t afford to lose them on the open market for nothing.
While Siakam is clearly the best of this trio and could signal a full-on rebuild if he ends up getting moved, the idea of paying him a supermax contract if he makes All-NBA might not be what penny-pinching ownership wants to do. It’s foolish, but a genuine possibility.
After it looked like Siakam was as good as gone in the offseason following interest from teams like the Atlanta Hawks, trade talks slowed down to what could charitably be called a glacial pace. According to Marc Stein, it could be months before discussions start to heat up again.
Stein said in a live chat (subscription required) that he doesn’t expect any “latest” updates on a potential Siakam trade until the season gets going, which casts doubt over the Raptors looking to get rid of their star player anytime soon. Fans who want Pascal to stay can take a very brief sigh of relief.
NBA rumors: Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakam trade talk dead.
Masai Ujiri seems willing to give a core led by Siakam and the new and improved Scottie Barnes a chance to thrive before potentially hitting the reset button. If the 4-0 preseason is any indication of what that offense would look like, Toronto should be very encouraged about the fit.
Siakam averaged 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game last season despite a comical lack of spacing and a minutes burden that ate away at his physical skill. The hope is that Rajakovic’s offense will give Siakam enough of a boost to replicate or exceed last season’s while contributing to winning basketball.
Trading Siakam now seems like a big miss, given how his value wouldn’t be as high as it could be. With Siakam’s camp having leaked that he was not interested in signing a contract extension with any team who trades for him and his impending free agency, it appears as though he wants to stay.
Siakam didn’t get off to the best start in his 2023-24 campaign in a win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but Toronto still has a great deal of interest in locking him up long-term. For the time being, you can close that Trade Machine tab.