Pascal Siakam Trade Rumors: 'Kings Definitely Have Interest in' Raptors Star

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 4, 2021

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam dribbles during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The Sacramento Kings are reportedly interested in acquiring forward Pascal Siakam from the Toronto Raptors.

Appearing on the Deuce & Mo Podcast with Morgan Ragan, Sam Amick of The Athletic said that while the Kings are interested in Siakam, they are "waiting for clarity" about whether the Raptors truly intend to deal him:

Morgan Ragan @momoragan

According to <a href="https://twitter.com/sam_amick?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sam_amick</a>, The Kings definitely have interest in Pascal Siakam.<br><br>Watch or listen to the full podcast:<br>🔉 &gt;&gt; <a href="https://t.co/KqpIjcVVhJ">https://t.co/KqpIjcVVhJ</a><br>📺 &gt;&gt; <a href="https://t.co/mALIlDOnCs">https://t.co/mALIlDOnCs</a> <a href="https://t.co/eKZ2vg87w0">pic.twitter.com/eKZ2vg87w0</a>

Siakam, 27, has spent his entire five-year NBA career in Toronto where he has earned one All-Star nod and one NBA championship.

NBA insider Marc Stein (h/t HoopsHype) reported last week that rival executives felt the selection of forward Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 draft was a sign that the Raptors were becoming more willing to move Siakam.

If the Raptors part ways with the 6'9", 230-pound Siakam, it stands to reason that he will be highly sought-after on the trade market.

After playing a minimal role in his first two NBA seasons, the first-round pick out of New Mexico State broke out in a big way in 2018-19, winning the NBA Most Improved Player Award and becoming a key player on a championship-winning team.

Siakam averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists that season before taking another significant step in 2019-20.

Following the departure of Kawhi Leonard in free agency, Siakam essentially became the go-to offensive option, averaging a career-high 22.9 points and 2.2 three-pointers per game to go along with 7.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 steal.

The Cameroon native earned his first and only All-Star selection that season, but the narrative surrounding him changed this past season as the Raptors nosedived to a 27-45 record.

Even so, Siakam remained productive, averaging 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, a career-high 4.5 assists, 1.3 three-pointers and 1.1 steals. His field-goal percentage was 45.5 after it was 45.3 the previous season, but his three-point shooting percentage dipped from 35.9 to 29.7.

The Kings have a talented roster, but it hasn't translated to team success, as Sacramento went 31-41 in each of the past two seasons and hasn't reached the playoffs since 2006.

For now, De'Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes, Marvin Bagley III, Buddy Hield, Tyrese Haliburton and Harrison Barnes are all set to return next season, although trade rumors have surrounded several of them.

The Kings truly need a roster shake-up of some kind in order to truly get in the playoff conversation, and adding Siakam to a core that includes Fox and Haliburton would undoubtedly qualify.

Sacramento has a lot of solid pieces and likely enough assets to make a trade for Siakam happen, but the Raptors have yet to make it clear that they are looking to move on from him.

Given that Toronto has already lost veteran guard Kyle Lowry this offseason, however, trading Siakam and starting a rebuild could be in the Raptors' best interest.