The Toronto Raptors have found themselves in the news once again, as they are regarded as one of the more intriguing potential sellers in the NBA. With Pascal Siakam at the top of the heap in terms of trade targets, teams like the Sacramento Kings will likely be banging down the door to acquire him.
While Siakam would normally require a king's ransom to acquire, the fact he is an impending free agent severely reduces the return Toronto could expect in any sort of trade package. Siakam may end up being nothing more than a rental.
Many teams who are trying to trade for Siakam will likely attempt everything to ensure they can wrap him up in the long term. If the Raptors get a deal done before a specific date, Siakam might sign a more meaty extension.
As shown by Aaron Rose of Sports Illustrated and Bobby Marks of ESPN, any team that trades for Siakam after December 30 can only sign him to a two-year, $84 million extension. Siakam, who will assuredly cost more than $42 million per year on the open market, can still get a $192 million extension over four years if traded before the 30th.
Pascal Siakam could sign big extension if the Toronto Raptors trade him before Dec. 30
Giving Siakam the maximum contract he has earned just does not seem feasible at this point. How can the Raptors pay both him and OG Anunoby, save some room for the eventual Scottie Barnes megadeal, and build a quality bench that can take some of the pressure off their stars?
While most would assume that the December 30 deadline would motivate Toronto to get a deal done soon, as he would be more valuable if a team had some assurance he would sign an extension. However, Masai Ujiri has shown that he will wait as long as it takes to find a team that can meet his valuation.
Between Ujiri's patented stubbornness with his own players and Siakam reportedly telling teams in the offseason that he wouldn't sign an extension with anyone who trades for him, it seems unlikely that a move would materialize in the next few weeks. This comes to the chagrin of an impatient, frustrated fanbase.
While Raptors fans clearly recognize and revere the accomplishments that Siakam has achieved in his tenure with Toronto, it is quite clear that a trade might be the best way forward for both parties. Thanks to an unusual quirk, a move might come sooner than expected if Ujiri changes his philosophy.