Even though Toronto Raptors power forward Pascal Siakam is one of the best in the game at his position, Masai Ujiri has found it difficult to officially close a trade that will send him elsewhere. Teams seem to be balking at some exorbitant demands for the soon-to-be free agent.
With the Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors refusing to part with either Keegan Murray or Jonathan Kuminga, respectively, in a Siakam trade, talks with these two Western Conference contenders have fizzled out. Even with all of the rumors, one team remains steadfastly in the hunt.
The Indiana Pacers have built a lightspeed offense around Tyrese Haliburton that can pile up points in a hurry, but they need one more star level player as a running mate if they want to become a contender in the Eastern Conference. With Obi Toppin starting at power forward, Siakam carries a much higher ceiling.
If the Raptors and Pacers are going to get a deal done that brings an end to Siakam's Toronto tenure, Ujiri needs to go into talks with an eye on securing these three players. Doing so gives Toronto more immediate weapons and assets that will be part of a longer rebuild.
3 Indiana Pacers players the Toronto Raptors must target in Pascal Siakam trade talks.
3. SG Buddy Hield
The Raptors will find it almost impossible to pull off a trade with the Pacers that doesn't include Hield coming up to Toronto. While he likely viewed as just salary filler, Toronto will get an up-close look at him and see if the veteran guard is worth keeping around as a free agent signing.
Hield's value, as it has for most of his career, will lie almost entirely on his 3-point shooting ability. Hield is currently shooting just under eight attempts per game from 3-point range this season, making around 38% of them. If he does that on this Raptors team, the offense will keep rolling along.
The Toronto Raptors could use a shooter like Buddy Hield.
While the Raptors likely envisioned that Gradey Dick would fill the role Hield would end up manning in Toronto, the fact he is so far behind where they thought he would be in the pre-draft process has opened a spot for a bench gunner who can further help this team's suddenly effective offense.
The Raptors have been a much more effective offensive squad after the RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley additions, partially because the spacing and shooting has been so much better. Why not reinforce a strength with Hield, all while getting a chance to examine a potential Gary Trent Jr. replacement?