Rumor: Thunder asked for Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, 4 1st-rounders in trade talks with Raptors for Paul George
The Oklahoma City Thunder reportedly asked for Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and four unprotected first-round picks as a starting point from the Toronto Raptors in trade talks involving Paul George, according to Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star.
The Raptors believed they were being used as leverage and that Kawhi Leonard was already set on going back home to Los Angeles. Toronto was right, as Leonard agreed to a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Thunder wound up trading George to the Clippers.
Updated: Oklahoma City asked for Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and four unprotected first-round picks as a starting point for Paul George. The Raptors believed they were being used as leverage, and believed Kawhi finally, truly wanted LA. And then he left. https://t.co/47683mDtn2
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) July 6, 2019
With Leonard gone, the Raptors will now build the franchise around Siakam, VanVleet and OG Anunoby. You can expect Toronto president Masai Ujiri to trade Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.
Siakam won the 2019 Most Improved Player of the Year award. He averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists this past season while shooting 54.9 percent from the field, 36.9 percent from beyond the arc and 78.5 percent from the free-throw line. In the 2019 playoffs, Siakam put up 19.0 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists. The Raptors, of course, defeated the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals in six games.
VanVleet averaged 11.0 points in the regular season while shooting 41.0 percent overall and 37.8 percent from the 3-point line. The Rockford, Illinois native scored 14.0 points per game in the Finals, proving he can handle a bigger load if the Raptors do end up trading Lowry.