Latest on Pascal Siakam and Zach LaVine will only make trade buzz get louder

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst tabbed Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam and Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine as the two stars that are have been brought up most before this season’s trade deadline.

“If you ask executives around the league, Siakam and LaVine are the two names that immediately come up,” Windhorst wrote. “There will probably be a February surprise that pops onto the market — there always is. There isn’t a lot of ‘star’ availability at the moment, but there is a long way between now and the deadline.”

Siakam, 29, is in the final season of his contract with the Toronto Raptors and will be an unrestricted free agent in the coming offseason.

It was reported that this past summer, the Raptors essentially ghosted Siakam.

The Raptors already made a notable move this season, trading away wing O.G. Anunoby, big man Precious Achiuwa and guard Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks in exchange for RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and a second-round pick.

If the team doesn’t plan on keeping Siakam for the long term, it may make sense to recoup some assets by trading him to a team that is either looking to contend in the 2023-24 season and/or wants to keep Siakam for the long haul.

This season, the two-time All-Star is averaging 22.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game while shooting 52.3 percent from the field. He had been linked to the Sacramento Kings, but the team has since reportedly pulled out of trade talks for him.

As for LaVine, he’s under contract with the Bulls through the 2025-26 season and has a player option for the 2026-27 campaign. Another two-time All-Star, LaVine has been limited to just 19 games this season due to injury.

The star guard returned to the Bulls lineup on Jan. 5 after a lengthy absence, coming off the bench to score 15 points in a win over the Charlotte Hornets.

It’s possible that LaVine’s market begins to heat up now that he’s back on the floor, as teams may have been wary about trading for him when he was sidelined.

It’s been reported that the Los Angeles Lakers and other teams looking at LaVine are hesitant to take on his contract. The Bulls star is owed over $40 million in each season remaining on his deal.

This season, LaVine’s scoring is a bit down, but he’s still averaging 20.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from 3-point range.

The NBA’s trade deadline is set for Feb. 8 this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.