Raptors' Pascal Siakam Not Concerned over Trade Rumors; Wants to Be in TOR Long-Term

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 16, 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

Pascal Siakam heard all the trade rumors, but that hasn't altered his long-term commitment to staying in Toronto.

"It didn’t bother me really, because I never really heard anything from the Raptors," Siakam told Sopan Deb of the New York Times. "Even all the news I was seeing it was never like: 'Oh. The Raptors wanted to give up Siakam for this.' It was always like, 'The Warriors like Pascal,' or it was always, 'The Kings like Pascal,' or this. There was never nothing where it was like, 'The Raptors wanted to give away Pascal.'"

Siakam has been the subject of trade rumors throughout the NBA offseason, though it does not appear any deal ever came close to getting done. The 27-year-old is in the second season of a four-year, $136.9 million contract, with his first being a bit of a disappointment.

Siakam averaged 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists for a Raptors team that failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2012-13. His three-point shooting efficiency cratered to 29.7 percent after he shot 35.9 percent in an All-Star campaign a year prior. While Siakam says he understands criticism, he said fans sometimes took it too far, mentioning his late father.

"I’m a really prideful person, and I always want to be the best player that I can be, and the bubble wasn’t that. So I get it, I understand it, but also for me what really hurt me is one of those things about my dad or like, 'Oh, your dad wouldn’t have been proud of this,'" Siakam said.

The Raptors are in the midst of a transition period that began quickly after their 2019 championship. Siakam is the only player remaining from the starting lineup of that title team, and he and Fred VanVleet are the only two rotation players left.