Posted on: July 19, 2023, 02:53h.
Last updated on: July 19, 2023, 02:55h.
In the latest batch of NBA trade rumors, the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks are favorites to acquire power forward Pascal Siakam in a trade with the Toronto Raptors.
Siakam is a two-time NBA All-Star and won the 2019 NBA Most Improved Player during the same season the Raptors won the NBA championship.
Damian Lillard and James Harden trade rumors are getting significant attention in the media, but the Siakam trade talks have flown under the radar.
Siakam, 29, enters the final year of his contract with the Raptors. He prefers to remain in Toronto, but the Raptors are not willing to pay him a lucrative contract extension.
The Raptors selected Siakam with a late-first round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Since he won the MIP, he averaged no less than 21 points per game in the last four seasons.
During the 2022-23 season, Siakam posted career highs across the board by averaging 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game. Siakam torched the New York Knicks for a career-high 52 points at Madison Square Garden last December.
Pacers to Bolster Frontline in a Siakam Trade
Point guard Fred Van Vleet was the subject of trade rumors in the final year of his contract, but the Raptors did not deal him at the trade deadline. The Raptors received nothing in return when Van Vleet bolted in free agency and signed a three-year deal with the Houston Rockets worth $128.5 million.
Team president Masai Ujiri and the Raptors do not want to see the same thing happen with Siakam, which is why they’re exploring trade options. The Pacers are at the top of the list of potential landing spots if the Raptors trade Siakam before the season begins.
Reports out of Indiana suggested the Pacers want to acquire Siakam in exchange for a trade package that includes shooting guard Buddy Hield, point guard TJ McConnell, rookie forward Jarice Walker, and two first-round draft picks.
The Pacers recently selected Walker, who played his college ball at Houston, with the #8 pick in this year’s draft.
The Pacers bubbled the play-in tournament last season, but they have a young and exiting roster. They have a trio of talented guards including point guard Tyrese Haliburton, shooting guard Bennedict Mathurin, and combo guard Andrew Nembhard.
If the Pacers add Siakam in a trade, he’ll join a frontline that’s anchored by veteran center Myles Turner. The Pacers recently acquired forward Obi Toppin in a trade with the New York Knicks.
The Pacers were 35-47 last season, and have a win total of 36.5 over/under next season. They’re a long shot to win the 2023-24 NBA championship at +30000 odds.
Hawks, Mavs, and Raptors in a 3-Team Deal?
The Hawks fired head coach Nate McMillan in February after he had multiple well-publicized clashes with star guard Trae Young.
Quin Snyder replaced McMillan, and the Hawks finished last season with a 41-41 record. They secured the #7 playoff seed through the play-in tournament but were eliminated in the first round.
The Hawks recently parted ways with power forward John Collins in a trade with the Utah Jazz, which opened a potential spot for Siak