Amid the veritable sea of Pascal Siakam trade rumors that have permeated the Toronto Raptors' fandom in the last few months, one of the few rumblings that remains consistently strong is the idea of the Atlanta Hawks selling some of their more prized young assets to acquire the former All-NBA forward.
From financial, competitive, and logical points of view, trading fifth-year forward and former No. 4 overall pick De'Andre Hunter seems like the best way forward. Any hypothetical proposal between the Raptors and Hawks has Hunter being sent north of the border as the headliner.
With Siakam in the final year of his contract and his camp sounding hesitant to sign an extension with any team that is not the Raptors, Toronto will find it hard to get a perennial All-Star (or potential one) in return for him. With Keegan Murray off the board, Hunter might be the best possible player Toronto can target.
While Hunter would be a solid player that Toronto can use to jump-start their next era of basketball, acquiring him has some serious concerns that Masai Ujiri would be short-sighted to ignore. Is getting Hunter still the best way forward for this Raptors team?
Pros and Cons of Raptors acquiring De'Andre Hunter in Pascal Siakam trade.
Ujiri won't consider adding a potential starter unless they can hold their own on the defensive side of the floor, and Hunter would fit in well on a struggling Toronto defense. While he's not elite, he can defend multiple spots and use his sculpted frame to give wings a very tough time.
Hunter provides proven shooting that should help the Raptors become much more effective from deep. Hunter is a career 36% shooter from 3-point range, but he's taken a big step in the right direction this season, pumping his average up to just under 41% with solid volume.
De'Andre Hunter could be a solid offensive boost for the Toronto Raptors.
Hunter signed a four-year, $90 million contract with the Hawks that is looking quite affordable at this moment in time. Given his age and production, Hunter could hit nine figures on the open market today. That gives them more financial flexibility than handing Siakam an eye-watering contract.
No matter what the Raptors end up doing with Siakam, they need to figure out a way to get the most out of Scottie Barnes. As Hunter has shown alongside two ball-dominant Hawks stars in Trae Young and Dejounte Murray, he can be an effective offensive player without a giant diet of shots and touches.