The Toronto Raptors traded Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers for three first-round picks, Bruce Brown, Kira Lewis Jr. and Jordan Nwora.
This officially marked the end of Siakam’s tenure in Toronto. With the Raptors, Siakam won the most improved player of the year, won a championship, was a two-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA.
He will go down as one of the greatest Raptors of all-time.
Siakam wrote a very touching piece for the Players’ Tribune. In the piece Siakam said that he never asked for a trade from the Raptors.
Despite Siakam’s departure he still has strong feelings for Raptors fans and the city of Toronto:
“When I’m back next month as an opponent, and it’s the national anthems, and I’m standing there looking around? I do hope maybe I spot one. And I’ll still give it a YESSSS!!! on the inside. It’ll still mean a lot to me. Because it’s still a Toronto thing. And I’m Toronto forever.”
“I’m Toronto forever.”
— The Players’ Tribune (@PlayersTribune) January 19, 2024
While it was hard to do so, Masai Ujiri had to make the decision to trade Siakam. His
extension would have cost the Raptors around $200 million.
Siakam was still putting up All-Star numbers averaging 22.2 points per game in Toronto, but his time had run its course with the franchise.
The Raptors needed to head into a rebuild so it made sense to trade him and get something in return, rather than lose him for nothing.
This is arguably the hardest thing Raptors fans had to stomach since the franchise traded DeMar DeRozan back in 2018 for Kawhi Leonard, which resulted in Toronto winning a championship.
Trade needed to happen
While it wasn’t a popular decision amongst fans, Siakam being traded to the Pacers is best for both sides.
He now has a chance to compete for a title, while getting the contract he deserves. Meanwhile, the Raptors can start fresh and enter a new direction.
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