Is it worth revisiting Pascal Siakam-Warriors trade package?
Pascal Siakam may be the most decorated star on the Toronto Raptors, but the further we get from the heights of the 2019 title run, questions about his ability to be the unquestioned No. 1 option on a title-winning team continue to sprout up.
While there have been moments of success for both the player and team over the last few years, the Siakam-led Raptors of yesteryear and this current season haven’t been as dominant as the playoff teams we saw in the past.
He turns 28 this April, an age at which most players are at their peak of powers. Rather than improve every year since the championship, Siakam has stagnated to a degree. He’s not playing poorly at the moment, but it’s fair to wonder if he is going to keep improving in the way many expected.
The first half of the 2019-20 season is what brought Siakam his All-NBA nod. After reaching those lofty heights, he’s been more infrequent with how often he takes over games. On top of that, he’s now sharing the court with Scottie Barnes, who is the most essential part of this team’s future.
The Raptors want to give Barnes as much room to work as they can. While Barnes’ assist numbers have jumped up with Siakam in the lineup, his scoring and efficiency have both dropped. The fit is working to a degree, but will long-term success with these two in the lineup be sustainable.
While Siakam trade rumors were shut down in the offseason by the front office and his agent, Toronto may still be in the mood to flip him if a team comes with an offer they just can’t refuse.
Still in his prime with an All-NBA selection and an NBA championship under his belt, the Raptors could get a nice return for Siakam. Masai Ujiri has traded stars in the past.
Will a team like the Golden State Warriors, who are currently dominating without James Wiseman and were rumored to be in on Siakam pre-draft, take him off of Toronto’s hands?
Would the Toronto Raptors trade Pascal Siakam to Golden State?
SF Andrew Wiggins
C James Wiseman
2022 First-Round Pick
2025 First-Round Pick
PF Pascal Siakam
PF Chris Boucher
A Siakam to the Warriors package was being floated around during the summer. Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman have been mentioned as the main assets going to Toronto. As time goes on, situations change, and both the Raptors and the Warriors are in different places than they were in July.
In the Warriors case, it’s been purely how good they’ve been. There were rumblings of a return to title contention once Klay Thompson returned, but they’re rolling with Kevon Looney at the 5-spot. Is Wiseman needed?
With the Warriors playing as well as they have been, their front office turns their sights from contending for the title to winning it, which makes aggressive moves towards the top all the more intriguing for them.
In the Raptors case, it’s been the emergence of Barnes. The team didn’t initially expect Barnes to be stealing minutes from Siakam, and vice versa, but he’s been such a revelation that he’s upped the likelihood of a trade.
James Wiseman could be the big man the Toronto Raptors need
Wiggins would be the big contact to make the money work and the effective win-now guy in this theoretical trade. Wiggins is averaging 19.1 points per game with the best efficiency percentages of his career, though the impending return of Thompson and emergence of Jordan Poole could make him a bit more tradeable.
In many ways, Wiseman could be the most valuable asset the Raptors could acquire going forward. Even though he was objectively horrendous at times last season on offense, the talent is still there.
The Raps are missing a true big around the rim. Khem Birch has been good, but he’s no star and is not going to start making huge leaps in his game at age 28. Precious Achiuwa has talent, but at only 6’8, he’s simply not big enough to be a full-time five-man every given night.
Wiseman has the size to match up better against some centers and the foundation that could help build a more robust offensive game. While he’s still very raw at only 20 years old, the youth movement is in full swing in Toronto. He’s going to get much much better.
Not only would Wiseman’s upside be a promise of a better tomorrow, but the type of player he is could benefit the 2021-22 Raptors as well. Imagine a young core of Gary Trent Jr. (about to turn 23), Barnes (20), Dalano Banton (22), Achiuwa (22), and Wiseman (20).
With OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet, and Wiggins as the vets, that’s a team with a good present, and an even better future.
Toronto will always love Siakam as a piece of the title team and respect him for growing into the star he’s become under Masai Ujriri’s umbrella, but this deal might give Toronto the best chance for success soon.