3 surprising reasons the blockbuster Siakam trade doesn't make the Pacers contenders

Washington Wizards v Toronto Raptors
Washington Wizards v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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1) Big in-season trades historically do not lead to championship success that season

While Siakam did find himself as an NBA champion in 2018–2019, in part due to an in-season acquisition of Marc Gasol by the Toronto Raptors, it rarely works out that well. The last big in-season trade for a team that won the title before the Gasol trade would likely be the Rasheed Wallace Pistons’ trade back in 2003-2004.

Gasol was also the Raptors' 4th/5th option during the playoffs, whereas Siakam is the clear 2nd best player for Indiana now. More often than not, the teams that make a huge in-season trade fall short of the title and burn out in the 2nd or 3rd round of the playoffs instead. Kevin Durant is very familiar with this.

Once again, the Pacers outlook moving forward is much better with Siakam than it was without him. The Haliburton-Siakam connection has a chance to be something very special, but that requires chemistry and repetition, and both require ample time together on the court. It’s highly unlikely that the Pacers will contend for a title this season, but this is still a huge step in the right direction.