For most of the offseason, there have been rumors that Pascal Siakam could be on his way out of Toronto. With the Raptors drafting wing Scottie Barnes fourth overall in last month’s draft, Siakam’s future with the team look to be in jeopardy even more.
However, it seems as Siakam wants to remain with the Raptors and Masai Ujiri has no intention of trading his star player, via The Athletic’s Sam Amick:
But in stark contrast to the Ben Simmons situation in “Philadelphia or the Damian Lillard saga in Portland, it appears there is no uncomfortableness or pressure on the Siakam front, in large part, because sources say he still wants to be in Toronto, especially after being away for a season while playing in Tampa. And yes, for the many people who wondered, that remains the case even after the Raptors drafted Scottie Barnes fourth overall and then said goodbye to Kyle Lowry in free agency (via sign-and-trade to Miami).
As longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein indicated recently, the Barnes pick did indeed compel executives to wonder if the Raptors would now be more willing to move Siakam and his max deal (three seasons, $106 million remaining). But sources say Ujiri has recently made it clear to Siakam’s side that he’s not being shopped, and that there’s a clear basketball vision here for how these pieces — old and new — can work.”
Despite the butting of heads between him and Nick Nurse last season, you can’t look past the importance of Siakam to the Raptors. After all, he was a key part of their lone NBA title in 2019 and was also Toronto’s leading scorer in 2020/21 with 21.4 points per game.
Barnes will likely get his fair share of minutes, but Siakam will certainly still be an important part of the Raptors as they look to move forward with a younger squad following the departure of Kyle Lowry.