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Raptors news: Pascal Siakim wants to avoid being traded

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Raptors will be missing Pascal Siakam against the Celtics

Power forward Pascal Siakim wants to remain on the Toronto Raptors. In the 2020-21 NBA season, the All-Star averaged 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 56 games played. During the offseason, the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers were all participating in trade-talk negotiations with the organization. Bettors were also speculating that Siakim would play his first game next season with the Trail Blazers or 76ers. However, of course, nothing has transpired yet. Ben Simmons is still expected to be traded away before the start of the 2021-22 regular season.

When asked if Siakim is pondering the possibility of being shopped to another team, Todd Ramasar, his agent, told media reporters, “That’s the last thing on his mind. He loves it there. Yes, he won a championship…That’s never come from us that there’s a change.” The trade rumors on social media hold little weight. “Because of the pandemic, because the Raptors missed the playoffs, there’s been a lot of speculation around [about a trade], but it’s not because of Pascal or anything he’s said…I think that’s just the chatter that picks up going into an offseason.” His agent makes a lot of great points.

Are the Raptors’ front office telling the truth?

A couple of weeks ago, Raptors president Masai Ujiri made it clear to media reporters and the general public that Toronto’s front office have no current plans to trade the player. Except, general managers and team presidents say something one minute, and then they proceed to ruffle some feathers soon after the comments are made. On July 18, 2018, Ujiri traded DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs after informing him he would not be traded. So, it can happen.

On August 6, 2021, in a sign-and-trade deal, point guard Kyle Lowry was traded to the Miami Heat. He signed a three-year, $85 million contract with the team. Lowry will make $26,984,128 with the Heat in the upcoming 2021-22 season. Then, he will earn $28,333,334 in the 2022-23 season. In 46 games played last season, the 35-year-old guard averaged 17.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game. Almost all players are expendable in the NBA.

Player statistics, salary and postseason analysis

On October 21, 2019, Siakim signed a four-year, $129.9 million extension with the organization. He earned $30,559,200 last season and is set to earn $31,320,000 next season. Additionally, in the 2020 first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets, the 27-year-old forward averaged 20.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists. Then, he proceeded to average 14.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the Eastern Conference Semifinals series. The Raptors lost this series in Game 7 versus the Boston Celtics.

In the 2019 first-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic, he averaged a postseason career-high 22.6 points per game. The team finished 27-45 (.375) last season, missing the playoffs, so it makes more sense for them to retain one of their better players. While Siakim is hot and cold, similar to any other player, he provides much-needed value to head coach Nick Nurse’s offense. Not to mention, it was a strange year for Toronto, considering they played their games in Tampa Bay, Florida due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, Ujiri believes playing in Tampa set the team back years. He said, “Our hope is we’re playing at home. We have no interest. We have not looked elsewhere. We’re playing—we’re trying to play at home. That’s the goal for us. Playing away set us back a couple years.”

In the 2021 NBA Draft, the Raptors selected Scottie Barnes fourth overall. Fans might be wondering if Barnes is Siakim’s fresh replacement, but he’s still a rookie; he will need the proper mentoring and support from veteran players. Plus, Siakam is playing at a higher level at this point in his career. The Cameroon forward has averaged at least 20 points per game the past two seasons. The Raptors selected him 27th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.