Does a Pascal Siakam trade make sense for the Kings?

Greg Wissinger

Pascal Siakam has been a speculated, rumored, and reported trade target of the Sacramento Kings dating back to last season. Siakam is in the final year of his current contract, and the deadline for any extension was December 30th. The Toronto Raptors face a hard decision with the trade deadline approaching, with the looming possibility of losing Siakam in free agency with nothing to show for it. The Raptors just traded OG Anunoby to the Knicks on December 30th, receiving Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett, but that hasn’t offered any clarity on Siakam’s future with Toronto.

The Raptors won their first two games following the trade, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers and Memphis Grizzlies, and vibes up North are good for the moment. The Raptors now travel to Sacramento to face the Kings on Friday, giving the Kings an opportunity to see the new-look Raptors in person. If the wins keep rolling in, Siakam may decide he wants to stay in Toronto, or at the very least Masai Ujiri may feel he has good odds to keep Siakam and opt not to make a trade. Even if Masai does decide to move Siakam, the Raptors GM has an earned reputation as a stubborn negotiator who wants to win every trade. It’s hard to know exactly what the asking price would be, or if the Kings could create a package that appeals to the Raptors.

All of this comes up again not just because the Raptors are visiting Sacramento, but because a Siakam-to-Sac package was proposed in an article by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. KOC, who draws the ire of Kings fans by tweeting about Sacramento only when they lose (at this point it’s so glaring that I am convinced that KOC is trolling), is pretty fair in his overall assessment of the Kings current standing (aside from a few unwarranted slights directed at Domantas Sabonis). He suggested Siakam as a target, and includes a potential return package:

Pascal Siakam remains a potential target, as Shams Charania reported last month. Siakam isn’t an ideal fit since he’s making only 32 percent of his catch-and-shoot 3s this season. But his on-ball creation would add a new element to Sacramento’s half-court offense. He can be used all over the floor: Imagine Siakam screening for Sabonis at the elbows, or Fox screening for Siakam to force a switch, or Siakam slicing through a Sabonis handoff. In Toronto, Siakam has seemingly checked out on defense, but a return to form in Sacramento would bring significant help by providing size and on-ball versatility. Siakam alone wouldn’t make the Kings favorites in the West, but for the price of Barnes and Huerter plus one-ish firsts, he would be worth it to bolster their odds (and if he walked this summer, the Kings would be an intriguing cap space team).

Barnes is a starter, a veteran presence, is cost-controlled, and is willing to defer to others. He’d be a fine fit as the Raptors continue to build around Scottie Barnes while also aiming to win now. Kevin Huerter is cost controlled on a very nice contract, and provides spacing that Toronto has desperately needed for some time now, assuming Huerter returns to form and breaks out of his current slump. In my mind, Huerter would be the primary appeal for Masai. If Huerter returns to his prior shooting prowess, Masai can point to the Kings selling low on their starting shooting guard as a key part of how Toronto won the trade. In other words, I can see a way that the Raptors could accept that package. Naturally this is all just guess work, and we have no idea how Masai would actually value any of these assets, or what other offers would be on the table from other teams.

The biggest risk from Sacramento’s side, aside from the possibility of selling low on Huerter, is that Siakam is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The Kings could give up players who have been part of Sacramento’s recent success for a short-term rental who then walks. Siakam absolutely pushes this team’s ceiling higher this season, but this season might be all you get. And while the idea of cap space is always appealing, it’s hard to imagine the Kings landing a major free agent this summer. Even with the Kings being much-improved, Sacramento simply isn’t a free agent destination. Cap space would give the Kings other options though, such as trading for a big name if another team is trying to shed salary and avoid that dreaded second apron.

For our purposes here, let’s assume the Raptors would accept a package of Barnes, Huerter, and a first round pick. Personally, if the Kings made that trade, I wouldn’t be mad. There’s risk, and it could backfire, but I’d appreciate the aggression in bringing in another really talented player alongside De’Aaron Fox, Sabonis, and Keegan Murray, and I think the return cost would be fair. But what do you think? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.

Greg Wissinger Articles,Commentary,Trade Rumor,Harrison Barnes,Immanuel Quickley,Kevin Huerter,OG Anunoby,Pascal Siakam,RJ Barrett,Toronto Raptors

2024-01-04 23:37:06 , The Kings Herald

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