Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is currently set to become a free agent at the end of the 2023-24 season, which is one reason why he’s been seen as a trade candidate lately.
According to a report, the Atlanta Hawks have been the strongest suitors for the 29-year-old and offered a package centered around De’Andre Hunter, A.J. Griffin and draft compensation.
But it doesn’t sound like the Raptors are anxious to move Siakam, and they may very well head into the regular season with the same roster they currently have.
“Several teams have shown interest in pursuing Siakam via trade over the past three months, but the external market has been tempered a bit due to the fact that it’s been made clear, league sources say, that Siakam would not extend with a team that trades for him,” wrote Shams Charania of The Athletic. “Still, the Atlanta Hawks have been the strongest suitor for Siakam, and talks between them and Toronto were fluid and ongoing as recently as Las Vegas Summer League in July.
“Atlanta has offered a package centered around De’Andre Hunter, A.J. Griffin and draft compensation to Toronto for Siakam, league sources say. But the Raptors are believed to have upped the price on any possible deal at each turn.
“For now, talks are at a complete pause, and the Hawks are fully prepared to enter the 2023-24 season with their current team, according to league sources. For now, Siakam is a Raptor, and even without an extension, he could very well remain one through the trade deadline.”
Siakam has spent his entire career with the Raptors so far, and it doesn’t seem like he wants to leave. The fact that he wouldn’t sign an extension with a team that trades for him has to be a major deterrent for many clubs around the NBA.
The Raptors picked up Siakam with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Since then, he’s developed into a two-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA selection.
He also won Most Improved Player honors in the 2018-19 season, the same year that he helped the Raptors win the NBA Finals. He was a key player during their run to the title, averaging 19.0 points, 7.1 boards and 2.8 assists per contest across 24 playoff games.
In the 2022-23 campaign, he had one of the best seasons of his career by averaging 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He shot 48.0 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from beyond the arc.
Siakam’s growth — as a playmaker, 3-point shooter and elsewhere — has turned him into a very valuable NBA player.
Unfortunately for the Raptors, they haven’t enjoyed much success since their NBA title in 2019. They’ve won just one playoff series since then and missed the playoffs twice. Toronto has a lot of talented pieces in place, but if the team doesn’t take a step forward in the upcoming season, it may be time to make some changes.