The Toronto Raptors have developed a pesky habit of losing their best players for limited or even no value in recent years. Since their 2019 championship, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka and Fred VanVleet have all walked for nothing. Kyle Lowry was traded for pennies on the dollar after it became clear that he planned to join the Miami Heat. Now, with several key players destined for 2024 free agency, the Raptors appear to be taking a more active approach.
According to Marc Stein, it is "increasingly conceivable" that Siakam is moved this offseason. Siakam will be a free agent next offseason and is currently eligible for a contract extension, and Stein speculates that the Raptors want to put the ball in the hands of younger forwards Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby more. Anunoby, like Siakam, can become a free agent next offseason, and he has reportedly expressed a desire to handle the ball more.
Two teams that are known to be interested in Siakam, according to Stein, are the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. The Pacers have added several forwards this offseason, including Obi Toppin and Jarace Walker, the No. 8 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Atlanta, on the other hand, dumped the bloated contract of John Collins in a deal with the Utah Jazz.
Toronto's asking price in a possible Siakam deal is unknown, but based on their hesitance in trading VanVleet and Lowry before their respective free agencies, it is likely high. Complicating matters is a report from Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes in June suggesting that Siakam would not re-sign with a team that trades for him as he wants to remain with the Raptors. Notably, however, Siakam was extension-eligible last offseason and the Raptors did not re-sign him.
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Toronto is at something of a crossroads. VanVleet is gone. That makes Siakam the last significant part of the 2019 championship rotation remaining. At 29, he is several years older than Anunoby (25) and Barnes (21). VanVleet, 29 as well, was too. As Golden State proved, maintaining multiple timelines tends to strain both of them. It now seems as though the Raptors are leaning into their younger players, and that could mean a Siakam blockbuster this summer.