The Toronto Raptors signaled the dawn of a new era on Wednesday, as Masai Ujiri traded Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora, Kira Lewis Jr, and three first-round draft picks in one of the biggest moves in franchise history.
In an emotional press conference that saw Ujiri start to tear up as he discussed what Siakam meant to him and this franchise, Masai was adamant in accepting the challenge of building a winner around Scottie Barnes. Ujiri also confirmed this roster is by no means a finished product.
Ujiri said the Raptors could "definitely" make more trades before the February 8 trade deadline due to their flexibility. Ujiri could make some more selling moves in the name of extra draft picks or try to cash in some of those picks for one more rotation player on a flawed team.
Masai Ujiri promises more Toronto Raptors trades after Pascal Siakam.
Brown is going to dominate trade discussions in the next few weeks, as a contender could easily get some use out of the versatile guard-wing hybrid. However, Ujiri talked up Brown multiple times during the press conference, as his statement that Brown was more than just an asset in a trade to Toronto may imply that he is staying on the team.
If the Raptors want to add an established player to the rotation, they now have three picks they can use to sweeten the deal. Such a move might not be out of the question for Ujiri, who seems to have taken the stance that he won't put up with consistent losing in the rebuild for very long.
Veterans might also be on the way out. With Jontay Porter playing so well that he could earn an NBA contract, now could be a good time to say goodbye to names like oft-injured veteran Otto Porter Jr. and Jalen McDaniels if Toronto is unable to come across a trade partner.
The Raptors are not done formulating their roster, as the path to building a deep team around Barnes is still very much attainable. Time will tell if Ujiri's plan to remake the team ends up with a few extra postseason victories or if it will fall on its face, but all fans can do right now is throw their trust behind him.