Why Toronto Raptors should trade Pascal Siakam to Atlanta Hawks

Pascal Siakam (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Pascal Siakam (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Raptors may be better off moving Pascal Siakam. 

The Atlanta Hawks have made their intentions known that they will be aggressive in an attempt to convince the Toronto Raptors to trade 2-time All-Star Pascal Siakam. After the firing of head coach Nick Nurse and with guard Fed VanVleet expected to test free agency, the Raptors could be headed toward retooling their roster.

With Siakam clearly the most talented player on the roster, he could be the key piece in a trade that could net a return of multiple draft picks and maybe an up-and-coming prospect. But the question remains, should the Raptors make such a move?

Benefits of trading Pascal Siakam for the Toronto Raptors

With a new head coach entering the fold in Toronto, changes are sure to follow. They have young players who they can continue to develop in Dalano Blanton, Malachi Flynn, Christian Koloko, Precious Achiuwa, and 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes. The Raptors also selected Gradey Dick with their only selection in this year’s draft.

Dick played one season at Kansas and was considered as one of the best shooters coming out of college. Shooting is something the Raptors struggled with last season as they finished 4th worst in the league in 3-pointers made and they also had the 3rd worst percentage from behind the arc. With shooting at a premium in the NBA, the Hawks do have shooters who they may be willing to part ways with if the Raptors give up Siakam.

Saddiq Bey is the first player the Raptors should consider in exchange for Siakam. He’s patient, knows how to read defenses, and possesses a lightning-quick release as a consistent jump shooter. The Raptors may also consider the services of Bogdan Bogdanovic. A fresh start would be good for him as his playing time would likely increase with Toronto as they can use his stellar shooting.

Another player the Raptors could ask for is De’Andre Hunter. Hunter is a smooth operator who never panics and is equipped with a very good midrange shot and a beautiful pull-up three. His ball handling could use some improvement, but other than that, and if he’s healthy, he will have the opportunity to develop into one of the NBA’s best 2-way players. If they are looking to add an infusion of youth, the Raptors could target either Jalen Johnson or AJ Griffin.

The Raptors could groom either one of these talented wings to be Siakam’s eventual replacement. The Hawks would most likely be willing to give up one of these promising talents due to the fact that everyone won’t be happy if they are not receiving sufficient playing time.

Both Johnson and Griffin are talented enough to secure a spot in the Raptors rotation and the opportunities for playing time should be there to earn with all the young talent waiting to prove themselves. I would not be surprised if John Collins’ name was brought up in these trade talks. A former All-Star, Collins hasn’t exactly lived up to the lofty expectations placed on him but he is still a decent player who can either start or come off the bench and be effective in either role.

Why the Atlanta Hawks would trade for Pascal Siakam

The idea of pairing Siakam with the All-Star backcourt of Trae Young and Dejounte Murray is intriguing as Siakam may very well be what the Hawks need in order to take them to the next level. He would be teaming up with a backcourt duo who won’t mind sharing the basketball as Young led the league in assists with 10.2 per game and Murray also dished out 6.8 assists per contest, which was good for 12th best in the NBA as a duo.

Siakam brings both veteran and championship experience, he’s elite on both ends of the floor, can defend any position, and is probably one of the league’s most underrated players as Siakam’s versatility would also benefit the Hawks in a variety of ways. A trio of Young, Murray, and Siakam would be difficult for most teams to slow down.

All three are willing passers, can score at all 3-levels, and either one could be trusted with the ball in clutch situations. The Hawks could even go big with Clint Capela at center, Siakam at power forward, and Collins, Hunter, or Onyeka Okongwu at small forward, or Siakam could even play center if the Hawks were to decide to go with a more faster and athletic lineup.

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This Hawks team could be on the cusp of something good if they succeed in acquiring Siakam. The Hawks have made the playoffs the past three seasons and they even advanced all the way to the ECF back in 2021. If the Hawks can pull off this trade, it would definitely put them in the conversation as contenders in the Eastern Conference.