NBA Trades: This Pelicans-Raptors deal would send a star to the Big Easy

Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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NBA Trades: What would a Raptors-Pelicans trade look like?

The proposed trade would see Jonas Valanciunas, Kira Lewis, Dyson Daniels, and Larry Nance Jr. traded to the Raptors for Siakam. A four-for-one swap is rare and would be an uncharacteristically bold move by the Pels.

After all, they would be trading their starting and backup centers as well as sacrificing guard depth to get a frontcourt upgrade. Then again, the Pelicans are already reportedly shopping Valanciunas, while Nance Jr., Daniels, and Lewis would have to be included to match salaries.

If the Pelicans are really interested in Siakam, then giving up those three players likely wouldn’t be much of an issue since they would be able to hold onto their three best players, McCollum, Brandon Ingram, and Williamson, in the deal.

For Toronto, it seems clear that Siakam isn’t a part of their long-term plans, and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after next season. Moving him this summer could net them more than waiting until the trade deadline, when teams may be less willing to give up assets for a possible rental.

Adding to their decision is the fact that their 2024 first-round pick is owned by the Spurs and only top-six protected in 2024 and 2025. Keeping Siakam might make them a play-in team, but it would ensure that they lose their pick and possibly lose their best player for nothing.

On the other hand, moving him might not be enough to make them one of the worst teams in the NBA and could lead to an eventual OG Anunoby trade. The Pelicans, in theory, have enough assets to make Toronto a big offer, but would they? Let’s find out next.