In a three-team deal involving the Raptors, Pacers, and Pelicans, Pascal Siakam bids farewell to the Raptors, moving on to join the Indiana Pacers. The trade includes an intriguing set of players and draft picks, with the Pacers eyeing Siakam as a dynamic pairing with Tyrese Haliburton. Let’s delve into the trade grades for both the Raptors and the Pacers.
Pascal Siakam Trade Details:
- Pascal Siakam
- Second-round pick via the Pelicans
- Bruce Brown
- Jordan Nwora
- Kira Lewis
- 2024 first-round pick
- 2024 first-round pick
- 2026 first-round pick
Pacers Grade: B
The success of this trade for the Pacers hinges on Siakam’s decision to re-sign in the summer, considering he is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Acquiring Siakam provides the Pacers with advantages in retaining him, given they will have his Bird Rights, allowing for a potentially more lucrative offer. The franchise has historically struggled to attract top-tier free agents, making Siakam’s potential re-signing crucial.
Assuming Siakam does re-sign, the Pacers stand to benefit from a potent one-two punch alongside Haliburton. Siakam’s transition to a team with better 3-point shooting and spacing can enhance his performance, as defenses will find it challenging to load up on him. Additionally, Siakam’s proficiency in transition play aligns well with Haliburton’s ability to initiate fast breaks.
While parting with draft picks is a drawback, the upcoming draft’s expected weakness and the potential for the 2026 pick to land late in the first round provide a silver lining. The Pacers, equipped with extra second-round picks, still have room for future upgrades.
Raptors Grade: A
Losing a home-grown star like Siakam is undoubtedly a setback, but the Raptors recognize the necessity of this step in reshaping their team. The current roster’s timeline does not align with Siakam’s, and the emergence of Scottie Barnes has shown star potential.
The return for Siakam, considering his impending free agency, is impressive. The acquisition of Bruce Brown, a versatile role player, complements Barnes well. Brown’s defensive prowess, playmaking ability, and willingness to step up in crucial moments make him an ideal fit.
Jordan Nwora, though not a significant part of the Pacers’ rotation, adds depth with his shooting and energy. Kira Lewis, a former 2020 No. 13 pick, brings speed and potential, offering a fresh start in a new environment.
This trade also transforms the Raptors’ financial outlook, providing flexibility to pursue free agents. With Siakam off the books, the team can explore various pathways, making it a strategic move for their future.
Pelicans Grade: C
The Pelicans’ involvement in the trade primarily revolves around shedding salary, with Kira Lewis, who hadn’t seen much playtime, and a second-round pick serving as the cost-cutting components. The move helps the Pelicans save $18 million, making it a reasonable but not groundbreaking transaction.
In conclusion, the trade emerges as a win-win for the Raptors and the Pacers, each addressing their unique situations. The Raptors secure assets for the future, while the Pacers acquire a player who can contribute immediately and potentially sign a long-term deal. The Pelicans, focusing on financial considerations, complete the transaction with a moderate grade.