Now that the dust is settling on the trade that sent O.G. Anunoby, Malachi Flynn and Precious Achiuwa to the New York Knicks in exchange for Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett, now comes the question... what’s next?
Quickley and Barrett made their debuts as Raptors on Monday night in front of a rowdy crowd at Scotiabank Arena, winning 124-121 over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game felt fresh and exciting as the dynamic of the team shifted into something a little more cohesive.
While it was widely expected that the Raptors were going to make a move prior to the February 8th NBA Trade Deadline, the timing of this deal leads people to think Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster may not be done just yet.
After all, the question of Pascal Siakam’s future still looms — and while the Raptors front office certainly did well in getting back some promising assets in exchange for Anunoby, that would not excuse letting Siakam walk for nothing.
There is also still the chance the Raptors extend the Cameroonian, but it seems more likely at this point that the Raptors will either trade him or he will decide his own fate in free agency.
Where Toronto Stands
The Raptors traded Anunoby away a little earlier than people expected, leading many to believe Toronto has some other tricks up their sleeve.
Everyone from fans, to media members, to Woj himself knows the Raptors aren’t ones to make quick trading decisions or even ANY in-season trades at all. Marc Stein called them the “ever-deliberate” Raptors in his Monday reports this week — and that’s a perfect way to describe this office.
Yet, after the mess of last season’s trade deadline and consequent free agency loss, SOMETHING needed to be done this year, and so we are getting allllll the drama this year in Toronto.
While those with NBA inside knowledge say this trade deadline may be a little more tame than years’ past (I mean, hard to top last year’s Brooklyn Breakdown) — Toronto is the team that keeps popping up in every report.
This first trade may have begun to solve the problems of the Raptors’ roster, and it was nice to have some new faces and excitement back in Toronto to kick off 2024, it’s not all sunshine and roses yet.
The Raptors sit at 13-20 and will spend most of January on the road. There is not much time to evaluate if this new look roster will solve every problem going forward before the deadline rolls around.
Obviously there is a lot of noise surrounding Pascal Siakam, but as Marc Stein notes — most of the control is in Siakam’s own hands.
He is becoming a free agent in a few short months, the Raptors aren’t going to trade him for scraps, and teams will be reluctant to hand over the goods just for him to sign with whoever he wants in the summer.
Siakam will be seeking the max as well, and as a Toronto Raptors blogger I’m allowed to be biased and say he deserves it.
The proof is in the spin-move pudding — just watch Monday’s game against Cleveland or even the second half of the Raptors disappointing loss against Detroit.
Now that December 30th has passed, any team that trades for Siakam can only sign him to a two-year extension. Toronto can still sign him to a four-year extension before June 30th.
Either way, Siakam would still have to AGREE to an extension — and he seems to want to wait until free agency to have the control himself over where he goes.
As it often is on the court, the ball is in Pascal’s hands.
The Latest Rumours
All this aside, Toronto may still trade Pascal away.
According to Stein, there are many teams thinking about Siakam — some with serious interest and some with casual interest.
Dallas is a team that has been coming up recently, but it seems Siakam is not “atop their list” of forwards.
Other teams being named are Sacramento, Atlanta, Memphis, Indiana, and Detroit.
With the Sacramento Kings, it seems the interest fizzled after they decided Keegan Murray was off the market, so that discussion seems to be over already.
Atlanta has been tied to the Raptors and Siakam since the summer, but they also seem unwilling to give up what Masai wants.
Though, when it came to Anunoby, it seemed the price was multiple second round picks, which didn’t end up happening. Instead, we got Quickley and Barrett — which leads to curiosity over whether or not the Raptors’ price for Siakam will change the closer we get to the NBA Trade Deadline.
37 days until the Trade Deadline.