The Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers are engaged in active trade discussions involving Raptors’ star Pascal Siakam, according to multiple reports. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Monday that the two teams have “significant momentum” on a deal that would send Siakam to Indiana.
Raptors looking to deal Siakam before trade deadline
Siakam, a two-time All-Star, has spent his entire seven-year career with the Raptors after being drafted by Toronto with the 27th overall pick in 2016. The 28-year-old is averaging career-highs in points (25.3 ppg), rebounds (8.2 rpg), and minutes (37.0 mpg) this season while shooting 49.8% from the field.
However, with Siakam set to become an unrestricted free agent after next season, the Raptors have been unable to come to terms with him on a contract extension. Rather than lose him for nothing in free agency, Toronto has made the 6-foot-8 power forward available in trade talks with the February 9 trade deadline looming.
Several teams have shown interest in trading for Siakam, including the Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks, and New Orleans Pelicans. But over the last week, the Pacers have emerged as the “frontrunner” to acquire the former Most Improved Player according to multiple reports. Indiana sees Siakam as a missing piece that could help complement rising young stars Tyrese Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin.
Pacers offer key players, picks for Siakam
In exchange for Siakam, the Pacers have reportedly offered a package that includes veteran two-way wing Buddy Hield and former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon. Indiana would also send at least one first-round pick to Toronto and is willing to discuss attaching additional draft capital to land the Raptors’ star.
Hield, 30, is averaging 17.5 points while shooting 39.8% from three-point range this year. The volume three-point shooter is on pace for his third-straight season with 200+ made threes. Brogdon, meanwhile, has battled injuries but is a versatile combo guard when healthy. He averaged 19.1 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.1 rebounds last season.
For Toronto, trading the 28-year-old Siakam would mark the start of a rebuild centered around Rookie of the Year favorite Scottie Barnes. The Raptors selected Barnes with the 4th overall pick in 2021 and view him as a franchise cornerstone. By acquiring Hield and Brogdon along with future draft picks, Toronto would add proven veterans and assets to put around Barnes in the coming years.
How would Siakam fit with the Pacers?
In Indiana, Siakam would give the Pacers an All-Star running mate for Haliburton and provide much-needed frontcourt scoring. The duo of Haliburton and Mathurin is outstanding, but Indiana lacks a go-to option in the post. Siakam’s versatility and ability to play inside and out would perfectly complement the Pacers’ talented young backcourt.
Pacers center Myles Turner also spaces the floor well at the five position, meaning Siakam could play more at his natural power forward spot. Having three excellent three-point shooters around him would open up driving lanes and create easier scoring opportunities inside for Siakam. Former Pacers forward C.J. Miles believes the pieces would fit together well in Indiana:
“He’d be great playing with Tyrese and Benn because he can play off the ball and he moves great without the ball. But he’s also really dynamic with the ball in his hands. He can get a bucket from anywhere on the floor, playing off the bounce or posting up…That’s a really good fit.”
Trading for Siakam would likely cement the Pacers as a playoff team this season and position them to be an intriguing first-round matchup. It would also accelerate Indiana’s rebuild by pairing Haliburton with an All-Star entering his prime alongside him. The duo would have the Pacers set up for sustained success over the next several seasons in the weaker Eastern Conference.
Will Toronto find better offers from contenders?
While Indiana appears intent on trading for Siakam, Toronto will still field offers from other teams over the next three weeks. In particular, the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks could put together intriguing packages that may be more appealing than Indiana’s offer.
The Warriors’ interest in Siakam has been well-documented, but Golden State would likely need to include former #2 overall pick James Wiseman and other assets to outbid the Pacers. The Mavericks are also “very interested” in Siakam and see him as an ideal third star next to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving per Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer. However, Dallas’ lack of draft picks could make it difficult to top Indiana’s offer.
Ultimately, the Raptors will look to get the best return possible for their franchise cornerstone. While Indiana may be the current frontrunner, team President Masai Ujiri could play the market over the next month knowing that multiple playoff contenders covet Siakam. Expect Toronto to drive a hard bargain and field competitive offers right up until the final hours before the trade deadline on February 9.
In the end, the odds seem likely that Siakam will be on the move to a new team this winter. The Pacers appear motivated to cash in assets and draft picks to land the All-Star power forward, while Toronto seems resigned to trading him rather than losing him for nothing. It will be fascinating to see if Indiana can close the deal for Siakam or if another surprise suitor can top their offer at the eleventh hour.
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