While Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri and the rest of the front office may not have embraced the desire to rebuild with the same vigor as the fanbase has, as doing so would mean parting ways with names like Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, fans seem to have their mind made up in this particular case.
Trading Siakam would be a tough pill to swallow, but it is also the best way to recoup assets around Scottie Barnes. Extending him and trading others has validity as well, although Michael Grange of Sportsnet revealed this whole saga has more moving parts than most fans were likely aware of.
Grange reported that Toronto would prefer to sign Siakam to a three-year extension, while Pascal's camp has been eyeing the four-year, $192 million deal that he can sign up until June 30.
Now that the December 30 deadline has come and gone without a Siakam trade, the Raptors would now need to wait six months to trade Pascal if they sign him to an extension. A complicated trade situation just got even more difficult to figure out.
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- Grange also noted that sharpshooter Gary Trent Jr. has not "been part of any extension discussions" this season. This is a sharp change from how the Raptors viewed the impending free agent after the free agency dust settled, as some had previously hinted the two parties were working on a long-term deal early in the offseason.
- Doug Smith of the Toronto Star drummed up several more unusual trade candidates for the Raptors outside of the two big names everyone has been mentioning. Smith postulated that Otto Porter Jr's value could be rehabilitated to the point where he gets flipped for a second-round pick while musing on the idea that Dennis Schroder could be off to a contender.
- Reigning NBA champion and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic is eyeing a quiet life out of the spotlight after retirement. "Being famous, I think some people like it. I don't, really," Jokic said, via Michael Porter Jr's podcast. "When I finish my career, I really wish nobody knows me, and I really wish my kid, or kids in the future, really remember me as a dad, not as a basketball player," he said.
- Two Western Conference contenders appear to be changing ownership. Mark Cuban has officially concluded a deal in which he secedes majority control of the Dallas Mavericks, while Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez seem poised to be the next majority owners of the Minnesota Timberwolves.