After nearly eight seasons with the franchise, including a championship, Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is being traded to the Indiana Pacers. Did Toronto get enough in return? Will Indiana regret the move? Get Pascal Siakam trade grades and details below.
Indiana Pacers Trade Grade
- Pascal Siakam
- 2024 2nd via Pelicans
Pascal Siakam is an excellent get for Indiana. They lacked self-created scoring and playmaking from their forwards, and Siakam provides these skills in spades. He alleviates some of Tyrese Haliburton’s offensive burden and provides Indiana with a legitimate second option. His worrisome shooting (37.7% outside of eight feet from the basket) also does not matter as much because Myles Turner is a stretch five. Therefore, the paint will not be crowded with two non-shooters. Plus, Siakam’s transition game should flourish next to Haliburton.
Additionally, Siakam is a long, tenacious defender that can switch across numerous roles. He hopefully boosts a broken unit that currently ranks 26th in Defensive Rating (per NBA.com). Should Siakam raise their defense from atrocious to below average, then Indiana will be an extremely dangerous dark horse during the playoffs.
If he blends perfectly, why are the Pacers only receiving an “A-” grade? They surrendered three first round picks and Bruce Brown, who is a quality role player on both sides of the ball. Even though the firsts are low quality, that’s still a big package for an unrestricted free agent this summer. Due to the flight risk variable, this trade has disastrous downside. However, the grade will be bumped to an “A” if Siakam signs a long-term deal with Indiana this summer.
Toronto Raptors Trade Grade
- Bruce Brown
- Jordan Nwora
- Kira Lewis Jr.
- 2024 1st via Pacers
- 2024 1st via the worst of Thunder, Clippers, Rockets, Jazz
- 2026 1st via Pacers
The 2024 Draft is considered to be one of the weakest pools in a while, so acquiring two late first rounders does not hold as much value as usual. Barring injuries, the 2026 first will likely be in the low to mid 20s too given Indiana’s projected success. However, although they are probably low quality, three first round picks are still nothing to scoff at because late round gems can always be found.
Meanwhile, Toronto can place Bruce Brown on the block and shop him for a combination of picks and young talent. Plenty of contenders will eagerly pursue Brown, who made major contributions to Denver’s title run last season. Therefore, the haul from flipping him must also be factored into the grade.
Finally, Kira Lewis Jr. and Jordan Nwora have not lived up to their potential, but perhaps a new environment sparks growth. If they continue to stagnate, then their expiring contracts mean they come off the books this summer and cost Toronto no future cap space.
Overall, the Raptors raked in a desirable haul given the fact that Siakam is a flight risk. They get demoted from an “A” to an “A-” for stubbornly refusing to move him last deadline when teams would have paid an even bigger price.
New Orleans Pelicans Trade Grade
New Orleans parted with a mid to late 2024 second rounder in order to dump Kira Lewis Jr.’s expiring contract. As a result, the Pelicans duck under the luxury tax and save roughly $18M (per ESPN’s Bobby Marks).
Lewis Jr’s time in New Orleans needed to come to an end, and it’s highly unlikely that the second rounder becomes a contributor in this hyper-weak draft. Therefore, it’s an excellent move for the Pelicans, especially since repeat luxury tax offenders face significant financial penalties.
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