NBA Trade Rumors: The Raptors' unusual Siakam strategy.
It's no secret that Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is on the trade block, but a new report provides interesting context on how it got to that point. Siakam will hit free agency in the summer after failing to agree to a contract extension with his team, but it seems that they played hardball with him and not vice versa as many would expect. The Raptors reportedly went radio silent during negotiations, essentially ending contract discussions.
"It’s led a couple of league sources to wonder whether the Raptors’ unusual, and at times disrespectful, treatment of Siakam dating back to last summer has been intended to force his hand, or worse, push him out," according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports
Now, with him on the last year of his deal and unwilling to sign an extension with any team that he's traded to, the Raptors may have limited options. Other teams may not be willing to give up a lot for what could be a rental, and he can torpedo a deal by stating that he wouldn't re-sign with his new team. The Raptors can't lose their best player for nothing, but they aren't interested in rebuilding either, so they aren't looking to get a package of picks back for Siakam.
That could make it hard to thread the needle for the Raptors when it comes to moving Siakam, but there may be a team that could appeal to Siakam and have the assets needed to get a deal done with Toronto.