Raptors’ plans with Pascal Siakam after Scottie Barnes selection
The Toronto Raptors pulled off a shocker in the 2021 NBA Draft when they selected former Florida State standout Scottie Barnes with their No. 4 overall selection. However, this pick may have provided a hint at the team’s long-term plans with Pascal Siakam.
As noted by NBA insider Marc Stein via his Substack newsletter, the Raptors’ decision to select Barnes with their first-round draft pick “convinced” some rival teams that they now have a growing desire to trade Siakam.
The Raptors were heavily rumored to pick former Gonzaga star Jalen Suggs with their high lottery pick. Even up to draft day, reports signaled that the Raptors would take Suggs, especially as they may be parting ways with long-time point guard Kyle Lowry over the upcoming free agency period.
Still, the Raptors went against the script and took Scottie Barnes, who could be the long-term replacement for Siakam should the team trade him away in the coming months.
Stein adds that the Raptors have already been open to the idea of trading Siakam, who is set to earn $30 million-plus over the final three years of his max contract deal with the team. He is coming off of a sluggish season with Toronto, as he averaged 21.4 points per game on 45.5 percent shooting, which is not what a team would expect to see out of a player on a max contract.
Siakam has already been in the rumor mill over a possible blockbuster trade, including with the Golden State Warriors. Still, the Raptors’ chances of sending Siakam to the Warriors may all be done with after they ended up using their pair of first-round picks in the draft.
The Raptors will certainly have a busy offseason ahead as they aim to rebound following a disastrous 27-45 season in the Eastern Conference. It remains to be seen whether Siakam will feature for Toronto come opening night next season.