Raptors

Siakam Next to Be Dealt By Raptors?

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The first domino has officially fallen.

OG Anunoby has been a player rumored in many deals over the last three years of his NBA career. And finally, he was dealt to the New York Knicks on Saturday.

After years of deliberation post-Kawhi, the Raptors have finally made their move. Anunoby, who has spent the first seven years of his career in Toronto, will join All-Star duo Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle on New York’s quest for their first title since 1973.

In exchange, the Knicks sent Toronto native RJ Barrett, Sixth-Man-of-the-Year candidate Immanuel Quickley, and the Detroit Pistons’ 2024 second-round pick. 

This comes 12 months after they were reportedly offered three first-round picks in exchange for Anunoby’s talents by the Pacers and Grizzlies. 

So what’s next for the NBA’s only Canadian team? Well, the fact that they only received one second-round pick, when multiple firsts were reportedly on the table signifies that this front office isn’t ready to give up yet. They have no incentive to tank, as they have already surrendered their 2024 first-round pick.

In fact, they may even look to make a playoff push this season. That all depends on how the final domino of their 2019 championship run falls. Pascal Siakam no longer fits this team. There is simply no space in their lineup for his talents.

Siakam has been in rumors, similarly to Anunoby, for years. He seemingly has a high value to opposing GMs across the league. They can elect to blow it up, and target draft compensation. This would be the safe option. 

Or adversely, they can try and make a real move to build around Scottie Barnes and potentially target another strong piece over draft equity, similarly to what they have already done with Anunoby. Based on how the Raptors have run their team in the past, we can assume they will elect the latter.

A team that has been vying for Siakam’s talents for a number of years is the Golden State Warriors. Right now, the Warriors sit 11th in the Western Conference. Their season has been a disappointment to say the least. Amid calls to tear down their dynastical core, they just might have no other options.

To make it ever the more likely they make a move, Bob Myers, the GM who built the championship core of the Warriors, left his post at the end of last season. New general manager Mike Dunleavy has no emotional attachment to the players, and is much more likely to tear down the core if need be.

The tipping point in this deal for the Warriors though may be Klay Thompson’s expiring contract. He will likely be asking for $30 million-plus, on a long-term deal. It’s hard to say if the Warriors can justify that kind of deal for someone of Thompson’s production.

Thompson would be the perfect shooting guard in this lineup, adding some much-needed spacing to the Toronto offense. Imagine a lineup of Quickley, Thompson, Barrett, Barnes, Poeltl. That team sounds fun, and has a legitimate chance at making a playoff run. 

The Warriors would also be sending out first rounders in 2025 and 2027. They will also likely add Jonathan Kuminga and Cory Joseph. The Raptors would package in Gary Trent Jr.

The price may seem steep for an expiring Siakam, but the Warriors need to do whatever they can to take advantage of what’s left of Stephen Curry’s prime. He is arguably the best player of this generation, and the team would be doing him a disservice if they didn’t even give him a chance at another ring.

They also receive Trent Jr., who may not be having the best season, but last year the Raptors were being offered multiple first-round picks for his services. He is someone who could flourish in the Warriors system and fully take advantage of the spacing available.

The biggest trade piece of the season is potentially just days from being dealt. Wherever he goes, that team becomes an immediate contender. For the Raptors, they will look to continue to add pieces to their promising young core, and build towards an eventual championship.

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