The Toronto Raptors' recent losing streak has brought out the swarming flock of teams like the Atlanta Hawks, who want to pilfer Masai Ujiri's collection of high-end talent. Pascal Siakam, still one of the best true power forwards in the game, has been at the top of almost everyone's list in the last few months.
The Hawks have been linked to Siakam for quite some time, as they are trying anything and everything to turn the Trae Young/Dejounte Murray pairing into a viable championship nucleus. With Jalen Johnson getting hurt, the team has slumped. They need a big name to boost their chances.
If the Hawks were interested in Siakam before, they would certainly ramp up their pursuit of the former All-NBA performer after torching them in a 135-128 win at home in Toronto. Siakam finished the game with 31 points on 12-19 shooting with seven rebounds and seven assists in one of his best games of the season.
The Raptors' win not only helped the team take a deep breath and get back on track after a very difficult run of games, but it also helped them see the absolute best of what Siakam can do. If trading him is still the move, this game certainly helped matters.
Pascal Siakam boosts trade value in the Toronto Raptors' win vs. Hawks
Perhaps the most interesting and impressive part of Siakam's night was his excellence from 3-point range. After struggling mightily from deep earlier in the season, knocking down five of his six attempts could be a sign that he has put all of those early-season shooting demons to rest.
In the short-term future, in which Siakam and Scottie Barnes need to keep trying to find a way to coexist peacefully alongside one another, the pair looked to be as in sync as ever. The untouchable Barnes finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists in a performance that shows why Ujiri fell in love with this roster.
In the long term, Toronto has to be pleased about the idea of Siakam getting white hot against a team that has been making sultry glances at him for the better part of the last year. Being able to both take a secondary role behind Barnes while also finding space to dominate should appeal to teams who want to use him as a second or third option.
The Raptors will happily take the win, irrespective of what happens with Siakam. However, they need to keep their eyes peeled for an attractive trade offer, and seeing his destructive power firsthand might make Atlanta just a bit more likely to part with some valued assets.