Toronto refused to include Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby in trade talks with Spurs
A majority of league followers knew the Toronto Raptors made the right decision by trading for Kawhi Leonard last summer. But some analysts, fans, and others alike believed Masai Ujiri erred by trading franchise favorite DeMar DeRozan and promising big man Jakob Poeltl for an injured, disgruntled superstar and the fading Danny Green. Obviously, it’s more clear than ever now that Toronto made the right decision.
But Ujiri completing the deal with Poeltl as the young piece going from the Raptors to the Spurs, after Friday’s episode of The Hoop Collective, make the extent of Toronto’s win in the trade even more evident. According to ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan and Tim Bontemps, Ujirii refused to include Pascal Siakam, who dominated Game 1 of the NBA Finals, in any trade talks with San Antonio regarding Leonard and DeRozan.
“My understanding is they would not trade him,” Bontemps said.
“No, he was not (available). I don’t think so either,” MacMullan agreed.
Another player reportedly untouchable in those discussions: forward O.G. Anunoby, who will be active for Game 2 after missing all of the playoffs due to an emergency appendectomy in April.
Siakam’s level of play throughout the regular season and playoffs makes it easy to forget that he was considered little more than a defensive specialist and finisher last season. Now, in his third year in the league, Siakam is putting up 32 points, eight rebounds, and five assists against the Golden State Warriors in the Finals opener.
Needless to say, Ujiri made all the right moves last summer – and not just because he pulled the trigger for Leonard.