Pacers' rigidness in Pascal Siakam talks makes it hard for Raptors to get trade done

The Pacers are unwilling to meet Toronto halfway.
Toronto Raptors v Utah Jazz
Toronto Raptors v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Toronto Raptors have seemingly made their peace with possibly trading away an All-NBA forward and franchise icon in Pascal Siakam, as their desire to rebuild is overwhelming their feelings for him. The Indiana Pacers, a team that has been after Siakam for quite some time, doesn't seem to have made those same mental adjustments.

The Pacers have long been listed as one of the teams with an above-average chance of landing Siakam in a trade with the Raptors, due in part to both their need for a secondary scorer next to Tyrese Haliburton and their collection of young players that could be moved in a potential trade.

With Indiana not known as a hub for free agents and too many young players fighting for a limited number of spots in the rotation, the Pacers would be passing up a potentially golden opportunity to bring a very impactful playmaker into their lineup if they refuse to give up some of their best names.

According to Marc Stein (subscription required), the Pacers are preparing trade offers centered around veteran shooter Buddy Hield and a future first-round pick. Indiana seems unwilling to give up either Bennedict Mathurin or Jarace Walker, both of whom are promising young players the Raptors could target.

Pacers' unwillingness to trade young players complicates Toronto Raptors' Pascal Siakam trade.

Walker profiles as a high-end versatile defender who can fill the vacancy at the power forward spot Siakam would create upon his departure. Toronto could fix their lackluster defense while adding a player who could (in theory) be effective without dominating the ball.

While some might view Mathurin as less impactful now that Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett have kicked the offense in the rear end a bit, but the Canadian-born guard is still a dynamic scorer that can both replace another impending free agent in Gary Trent Jr. and guard against further regression from Gradey Dick.

Given Siakam's salary and history as a star player in this league, including Hield and a first-round pick should be the baseline for getting a deal done, not the finalized trade package. Reports from insiders and Toronto's deal with the Knicks show Masai Ujiri would rather get a tangible player instead of stacked picks four years from now.

Toronto would clearly benefit from either Walker or Mathurin. Indiana, with Siakam in their super-fast offense, could be even deadlier. The Raptors seem ready to make a deal, but their Eastern Conference compatriots need to get a bit more risky.