The Toronto Raptors appear to be heading towards a youth movement.
The team made a big blockbuster trade on Dec. 30 sending O.G. Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn to the New York Knicks in exchange for Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett and a 2024 second-round pick (via Detroit).
The trade brings in two young starters for the Raptors to pair alongside Scottie Barnes. Barrett is 23 and Quickley is 24 and both already showed what they could do in their debuts against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Since the trade has happened there’s now speculation on if Toronto will also trade Pascal Siakam who is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski appeared on NBA Today to provide the latest update on Siakam:
“Initially what you’re seeing the Raptors try to do is put a team around Scottie Barnes at 22-years-old that fits him age wise. Siakam is going to be 30 before the end of the season. He’s starting to play very well again…he’s got value around the league but he’s also going to be a free agent. And if you’re Toronto if you’re not going to re-sign him you can’t let him walk like Fred VanVleet….I think for Siakam there’s some leverage in that if a team’s going to trade for him they want to know that they can re-sign him…and that might dictate how much they offer Toronto in a deal. But I do think there’s a window here where the Raptors get to see what Siakam looks like with RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley and this group with the Raptors.”
That is the benefit of Toronto making the trade for Quickley and Barrett this early. They get to see how this current group gels before they decide what they want to do with Siakam.
The Raptors haven’t had conversations about an extension with Siakam to this point and obviously they haven’t pulled the trigger on a deal yet so it’ll be interesting to see what Toronto does with him going forward.
Will the Raptors end up trading Siakam?
The Raptors do look determined to build around Barnes and if the Raptors continue to struggle to begin 2024, then they could be a little more flexible in trade negotiations and try to trade Siakam before the trade deadline.
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