Kings 'pulling out' of Pascal Siakam trade clear reaction to wild Raptors request

The Raptors wanted one of Sacramento's best players.
Jan 5, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Toronto Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic speaks with Pascal Siakam
Jan 5, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Toronto Raptors head coach Darko Rajakovic speaks with Pascal Siakam / Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings have been mentioned alongside one another for quite some time as the Pascal Siakam trade sweepstakes kicks into high gear. The Raptors need assets to begin the new Scottie Barnes-led era, while the Kings need another star alongside De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

Just a few hours before Toronto and Sacramento were scheduled to do battle in Northern California, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Raptors were looking to be more aggressive in trading Siakam. The Kings were right at the top of their list of potential partners.

In a very strange twist, Charania later amended his report to include the fact Sacramento backed out of talks with the Raptors. While there could be a multitude of reasons as to why talks between the two teams have stalled out, one particular trend in this tug-of-war seems to have risen far above the rest.

Toronto has previously shown interest in acquiring former No. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray in exchange for Siakam, but Sacramento has been unwilling to include him in a trade for an impending free agent like Pascal. Without Murray in the return package, it looks like Toronto has no interest in sending Siakam over to the Kings.

The Toronto Raptors won't acquire Keegan Murray in Pascal Siakam trade.

Murray came into Sacramento's tussle with Toronto averaging 15.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, and he proceeded to light them up by recording a double-double and nailing four of his 3-pointers. Murray showed just why Monte McNair is being so stubborn in refusing to consider giving him up.

The Raptors could, in theory, pull off a deal centered around veteran Harrison Barnes, one of either Malik Monk or Kevin Huerter, and former top pick Davion Mitchell with Siakam heading the other way. Some might consider it to be a tough deal for the Raptors if an All-NBA player is moved for a return like that, expiring contract be damned.

With the Sacramento well running dry after this experiment, the Atlanta Hawks and Indiana Pacers could theoretically reignite their pursuits of Siakam. The Dallas Mavericks have been poking around the Raptors' trade jamboree, but their comparatively paltry war chest of assets might be less attractive to Masai Ujiri.

Siakam could still be moved in the near future, and Sacramento could have been a very promising spot, but it seems like the Kings front office is unwilling to let Murray go for what may only be one-half of one season out of Siakam.