With the understanding that things can change — it’s a business, things can change with you, things change with the organization — as we sit here right now, do you see yourself in Toronto long term? Pascal Siakam: I do. I’m a really prideful person and I always want to be the best player that I can be, and the bubble wasn’t that. So I get it, I understand it, but also for me what really hurt me is one of those things about my dad or like, “Oh, your dad wouldn’t have been proud of this.” [Siakam’s father died in a car accident in 2014.]
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Was there any irritation from you toward the Raptors that your name was surfacing so much in trade rumors? Pascal Siakam: It didn’t bother me really, because I never really heard anything from the Raptors. Even all the news I was seeing it was never like: “Oh. The Raptors wanted to give up Siakam for this.” It was always like, “The Warriors like Pascal,” or it was always, “The Kings like Pascal,” or this. There was never nothing where it was like, “The Raptors wanted to give away Pascal.”
Kings general manager Monte McNair is determined to make a big move as the franchise seeks to end its 15-year playoff drought, sources said. The Kings have also shown interest in Toronto Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam, but Siakam isn’t seeking a trade and the Raptors are unlikely to move him, a source with knowledge of the situation in Toronto told The Bee.
Pascal Siakam has been the subject of trade rumors following the Raptors‘ disappointing season, but the fifth-year forward isn’t looking to be moved, agent Todd Ramasar said in an NBC Sports podcast. “That’s the last thing on his mind,” Ramasar said. “… He loves it there. Yes. He won a championship. … That’s never come from us that there’s a change … 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. Or even the organization. I think that’s just the chatter that picks up going into an offseason.”
Siakam is currently rehabbing from that operation and Ramasar expects him to reach an All-Star level again. Also, his agent wants to remove any distractions that trade rumors might be causing. “First of all, it’s about understanding when it is purely speculation as opposed to there being some substance to that, right? Is there traction to those rumors?” Ramasar said. “It starts with having good communication and a great relationship with the team and management, and communication. And it’s understanding that, because this is a business, at any point you can be traded… But in this situation, knowing that it was more so speculation than anything else, it’s having those conversations with the client. It’s also the team reassuring the player, in this case Pascal, and then you move forward and stay in control of the things you have control over.”
Do the Raptors actually want to move Siakam? Based on conversations with several people close to the situation in Vegas, I’d venture to say no — at least for now. They will continue to listen to the calls that come their way, which is no different from what the recently re-signed Masai Ujiri (now president and vice chairman) and general manager Bobby Webster have always done.
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. Nonetheless, the combination of the changing Raptors landscape and that well-chronicled friction with coach Nick Nurse last season had led many to believe Siakam’s days were numbered there.
Multiple sources tell The Sacramento Bee the Kings have shown interest in both Ben Simmons and Pascal Siakam, the two most prominent names linked to Sacramento since the trade and free agency frenzy began. Some remain skeptical the Kings can pull off that kind of deal, but McNair wants to make an impact move as pressure to win begins to build within the organization 11 months after he was hired, sources said.
Outside the organization, there is a perception that Sacramento’s new front office is already “feeling the heat” from Kings owner Vivek Ranadive.
A source with knowledge of the situation in Toronto said the Raptors are receiving numerous calls about Siakam and team president Masai Ujiri is “listening like a good negotiator.” The Kings, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are said to be particularly “enamored” with Siakam. A trade is possible, but not likely, the source said, adding Siakam has no desire to be moved despite the possibility of a rebuilding situation in Toronto.
NBA Central: The Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly ‘enamored’ with Pascal Siakam, per @Jason Anderson pic.twitter.com/ILhIPVxG9O
Morgan Ragan: According to @sam_amick , the Kings definitely have interest in Pascal Siakam.
There has also been an intriguing CJ McCollum-Pascal Siakam trade framework discussed between Portland and Toronto, though talks between the teams have yet to generate significant momentum, sources said. Rival executives believe the Raptors’ selection of Scottie Barnes seemingly reinforces Siakam’s availability for trade.
Toronto’s surprise selection of Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday’s draft over Jalen Suggs immediately convinced some rival teams that the Raptors’ appetite for trading Pascal Siakam will only grow after Siakam’s tumultuous season while the Raptors were forced to play in Tampa.
An interesting aspect of the Watson hire could be how it impacts Pascal Siakam. Watson has many connections to Siakam’s camp and this could be a case of adding a solid coach who also has that tie. Watson starred at UCLA on teams that also featured one of Siakam’s agents, Todd Ramasar, and Rico Hines, a player development coach with the Sacramento Kings who also has spent multiple summers working hard on Siakam’s game in Los Angeles, with obvious results. Watson has been at some of those runs.
As is always the case ahead of the NBA draft and free agency, the rumour mill has been churning, including with some unverified talk that Toronto has been looking to move Siakam. Maybe we’re reaching here and in four days this will look like a wild take, but bringing in Watson doesn’t seem like an addition a team looking to deal Siakam would make.
Toronto, for example, could offer a package centered on the No. 4 selection and Pascal Siakam, who’s considered available for trade by sources around the league. The Raptors have been categorized as one of the most active teams in predraft trade chatter, exploring all avenues from swapping their pick in a deal for an All-Star such as Beal or Damian Lillard to trading back and recouping more draft capital to embrace a post-Kyle Lowry rebuild.
Golden State assured itself of an additional first-round pick when Minnesota failed to land in the top three on lottery night. The Warriors now have the seventh and 14th picks plus last year’s second overall pick, James Wiseman, and there is a widespread expectation that the Warriors will use No. 7 and Wiseman, in particular, to seek more immediate upgrades to the roster. One name to watch: Pascal Siakam.
What does this have to do with the Warriors? Well, Siakam is somebody that has been discussed as a potential trade candidate. So on one hand, this injury makes you wonder if Golden State will be more reluctant to go after him. But on the flip side, perhaps the Warriors wouldn’t have to give up as much to acquire him. You can make a strong argument for both sides. Conventional wisdom suggests that Andrew Wiggins — who is from the Toronto area — almost certainly would be involved in any potential deal. But Wiggins just completed the best all-around season of his career, and there is reason to believe he will be even better once Klay Thompson returns.
Through six games, he’s hovering around the same sort of production (17.6 points, 40.7%) but is it concerning enough, this early, for the Raptors to ship Siakam to Houston in exchange for Harden? “You look at Pascal and that’s the guy on your roster that makes the most sense,” Windhorst said. “The other challenge is with the way the roster has actually been put together, I think they have seven players that they’re not allowed to trade until February or March. So, it’s not like that difficult to figure out what a Raptors offer would be. I’m sure it would have to be Siakam. I would guess the Rockets want Malachi Flynn and then you’re looking at multiple first-round draft picks into the future, probably lightly protected or unprotected. “That’s a big bite, especially because you’re looking at that – you trade away Siakam, you’re looking at really depleting your frontcourt, you’re going to be backcourt-heavy, you’re going to need some people back there so it requires other transactions.”
“I did say it would take a really horrible flameout for the Toronto Raptors for Pascal Siakam to even be in the conversation, “Haberstroh said with a smile.”And it looks like this isn’t Siakam’s best postseason and I think it’s increased the odds, very low odds, of Siakam perhaps being on his way out of Toronto. I still think it’s a long-shot, but it is definitely better than it was [before].”
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September 23, 2021 | 4:49 am EDT Update
The Sixers would be best served if Simmons and Paul rethink their plans, though Simmons “is clearly aware of sanctions available to the organization to fine and suspend him, including withholding of salary,” according to Wojnarowski. An NBA source said Wednesday that Simmons initially asked for a trade at the draft combine in Chicago “right after” the end of the 2020-21 season. The Game 7 home loss to the Hawks occurred on June 20, with the combine running from June 21-27.
Simmons has apparently already received $8.25 million of his 2021-22 salary, with another $8.25 million due if he’s on the roster Oct. 1. The Sixers aren’t saying what they plan to do or if they must make that payment when, barring a dramatic shift, Simmons follows through with his holdout, according to the source.
Rather than increasing Simmons’ value in a trade, the Sixers’ preference is for Simmons to report and play this season in Philadelphia, according to an NBA source. Rivers said the same thing Wednesday: “We would love to have Ben back.”
Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson: 76ers retiring Kobe Bryant’s Lower Merion No. 33 like Heat retired MJ’s No. 23 ‘interesting idea’ @ScottONeil tells @BallySports: “That’s something that @dmorey & @DocRivers & Elton will weigh on for sure. That’s something that Chris Heck the President of 76ers will weigh on.”
September 23, 2021 | 2:02 am EDT Update
The Warriors recently connected Wiggins with an Oakland doctor who understands issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy, sources said. The doctor explained the suffering and deaths she has witnessed in patients who contracted the coronavirus, sources said, but Wiggins remains unmoved in his decision against vaccination.