The Toronto Raptors' recent losing streak has the trade wheels spinning once again. Unsurprisingly, All-Star power forward and impending free agent Pascal Siakam is at the center of these talks, as he could get Toronto a genuine haul back for him before he hits the open market.
Siakam makes the most sense of any player on the roster to trade, as his still excellent scoring skill, penchant to do just about whatever an offense requires, and postseason experience will help suitors emerge, even if the front office continues to drive a hard bargain.
While it will always be difficult trading with the Raptors, as Shams Charania of The Athletic confirmed in a piece where he compared negotiations with the Raptors to “a game of chicken," this season's poor results might be a breaking point that forces Masai Ujiri to finally make a move.
Charania confirmed that Atlanta, Indiana, and Sacramento are the three teams that have been the most interested in a Siakam trade. Shams also added that when comparing Siakam and OG Anunoby, those around the league believe that Pascal is the more likely player of the two to be moved.
NBA rumors: Hawks, Pacers, Kings chasing Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam.
Atlanta has been the team most directly connected to Siakam in the last few months, as they need to squeeze as much juice out of the Trae Young/Dejounte Murray partnership as possible. The Hawks have multiple young players that could serve as headliners in a potential swap.
Sacramento already has a great offense with De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, but Siakam would shoot them into the stratosphere. Monte McNair has been an aggressive GM in the last few seasons, and he would likely jump at the chance to acquire a player of his caliber.
Indiana's offense plays at a comically fast pace, which should be kicked up a notch once Siakam arrives in town. The Pacers also have a good mix of young talent and future assets that could put them over many competitors if the pursuit for Siakam becomes an all-out bidding war.
The Raptors know they need to get something out of Siakam before he eventually decides to leave them at the alter with nothing. Ujiri can't use the idea of no market materializing to get out of remaining idle this time around, as many teams seem to be tripping over themselves to get just a chance of acquiring him.