Key Date Arrives Saturday for Pascal Siakam’s Future With Raptors

Once again this season, one of the key questions at the NBA trade deadline will be what the Toronto Raptors will do with Pascal Siakam. He’s now just a few months away from entering unrestricted free agency, and thus far the two sides are nowhere close to an extension agreement.

According to Raptors beat writer Michael Grange of Sportsnet, however, there have been “framework-type conversations” with Siakam. Grange notes that Saturday, December 30 is a key date, as only an extension signed by then would allow Siakam to be trade-eligible at the start of free agency in six months. 

Without a deal done by Saturday, any team trading for Siakam later this season would be getting him on a pure rental, thereby significantly reducing his trade value, as the new team would be unable to offer him a proper extension before he hits unrestricted free agency in July, with no guarantees of re-signing him then. 

Perhaps shockingly, Grange also notes that “in a perfect world” the Raptors would still like to rebuild the team around Scottie Barnes, Siakam and OG Anunoby (another impending free agent), rather than go into a full-out rebuild around Barnes. A teardown is something that team president Masai Ujiri apparently has “no appetite“ for. 

Considering the Raptors' 12-18 record this season featuring those three as the core pieces, it would be hard for team observers to see this game plan as anything but stubborn. 

Feb 8th is the trade deadline… The Raptors have until then to make a decision on the future of the franchise.