Raptors deny report Pascal Siakam has been fined $50K for comments directed at Nick Nurse after recent loss

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The Toronto Raptors are going through some tough times. The Raptors are well below .500 on the season, they currently sit outside of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference and have lost nine straight games. Also, there are reports of some friction between coach Nick Nurse and at least one player. 

On Tuesday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the Raptors fined forward Pascal Siakam $50,000 for directing heated comments toward Nurse following Toronto’s 116-105 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night. The loss to Cleveland was the eighth consecutive loss for Toronto, and, per Charania’s sources, Siakam was apparently unhappy with the fact that Nurse had him on the bench during the fourth quarter of the contest. 

From Charania: 

The Toronto Raptors fined star forward Pascal Siakam $50,000 for directing heated choice words toward head coach Nick Nurse after Sunday’s loss in Cleveland, sources tell The Athletic.

The incident occurred while the Raptors were leaving the floor following an 11-point loss on Sunday night against the Cavaliers. Stemming from the frustration amid what is now a nine-game losing streak, Siakam directed a verbal exchange that included several choice words toward Nurse, multiple sources confirmed.

However, shortly after Charania’s initial report on the matter was published, Toronto’s head of media relations, Jen Quinn, denied that the report regarding a fine was accurate, stating that the report was “not correct.” In addition, the Raptors said the situation following the loss to the Cavaliers is being discussed internally and that no decisions about possible punishment have been made.

Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet pointed out that while teams have a wide variety of options when it comes to disciplining a player on their roster, issuing a $50,000 fine would be a rather large penalty and would be subject to a grievance being filed by the players union. 

A source told Grange that Siakam “feels like he’s been unfairly singled out for the Raptors’ poor season.” Nurse addressed the situation on Wednesday, saying “Pascal wasn’t very happy he played in the 4th quarter. He expressed those concerns. That’s about it. The discipline stuff is being worked out in the front office,” according to USA Today’s Mark Medina

Siakam, who is in the first year of a four-year max deal that he signed in 2019, is averaging 19.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.1 steals in 35 minutes of action per game for the Raptors on the season. While far from ideal, Siakam’s actions are likely the result of pent-up frustration stemming from what has been an underwhelming season for the Raptors. Siakam, who played a big role on Toronto’s title team in 2019, clearly isn’t happy with the team’s struggles this season. We’ll have to wait and see what, if anything, the Raptors elect to do about the situation at hand.