Posted on: July 19, 2023, 02:53h.
Last updated on: July 19, 2023, 03:05h.
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.
Siakam, 29, is entering the final year of his contract with the Raptors. He prefers to remain in Toronto, but the Raptors aren’t 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 didn’t 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 don’t 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 suggest 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 exciting 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 Siakam.
The Mavericks are keeping close tabs on a Siakam trade. The Mavs need a center and have targeted Hawks big man Clint Capela. They would gladly help facilitate a multiteam trade between the Hawks and Raptors if they can add Capela in the deal.
A potential three-team swap would send Siakam and center JaVale McGee to the Hawks while the Mavs would acquire Capela and small forward Garrison Matthews. The Raptors would receive forward De’Andre Hunter, swingman Tim Hardaway, Jr., a first-round pick, and four second-round picks to complete the trade.
The Hawks would send draft compensation to the Raptors that includes a 2029 first-round pick and two second-rounders. The Mavs would also send the Raptors a couple of second-round picks as well.
The Hawks enter this upcoming season with a win total of 42.5 over/under. Despite the low win total, they’re the second favorite to win the Southeast Division at +190 odds behind the reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat at -185 odds.
The Hawks are +6500 odds to win the NBA championship next season, and they’re +2200 odds to win the Eastern Conference title.
Canadian Rebuild, Ice-Cold Futures
The Raptors won one playoff series since their championship run during the 2018-19 season with Kawhi Leonard. They missed the postseason twice in the last three seasons.
With a 41-41 record last season, the Raptors finished in ninth place. They qualified for the Eastern Conference Play-In Tournament, but lost to the Chicago Bulls and missed a chance to secure the #8 seed.
The Raptors fired head coach Nick Nurse at the end of the season and hired Darko Rajaković to replace him. Nurse recently landed a new job as the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Raptors are looking to rebuild the team around forwards Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby. They selected guard Gradey Dick out of Kansas with the #13 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and hope to add more draft capital by trading Siakam.
The outlook for the Raptors next season looks bleak. Oddsmakers installed the Raptors with a win total of 36.5 over/under, which hints at a losing season in 2023-24.
After winning the Atlantic Division six times in seven seasons between 2014 and 2020, the Raptors fell on hard times with last-place finishes in two out of the previous three seasons.
Oddsmakers at DraftKings believe the Raptors will finish in last place once again. They’re a long shot to win the Atlantic at +2500 odds.
It’s not surprising that the Raptors are a long shot to win the 2023-24 NBA championship at +10000 odds next season.