Pelicans Trade For Raptors’ Pascal Siakam In Bold Proposal

Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Can an NBA team have too many forwards? It’s an interesting question. A team can definitely have too many big men – if they can’t shoot, you’re only going to want one on the floor at once. Meanwhile, three-guard lineups can be viable, but that lack of size can be problematic on defense. 

By contrast, forwards are easier to stack. The league has long been trending towards stacking multi-positional, versatile defensive forwards. Some teams will even play them slightly out of position just to keep them together. At times, that can even work. 

Take the New Orleans Pelicans. Their two best players are forwards. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are one of the most talented duos in the NBA. Meanwhile, the Pelicans have plenty of solid supporting forwards on the roster as well. Could they take the concept further by acquiring Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors? 

The Trade Proposal 

Toronto Raptors Receive: C Jonas Valanciunas, F/C Larry Nance Jr., G/F Dyson Daniels, G Kira Lewis Jr., 2024 First-Round Pick (LAL via NOP), 2025 First-Round Pick (MIL via NOP), 2026 First-Round Pick (NOP) 
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: F/C Pascal Siakam 

On the other hand, stacking forwards doesn’t always work. Just ask the Raptors. They’ve been trying to use a similar philosophy for years. 

It didn’t work. The Raptors already ran Siakam at the 5. It didn’t look great. This team had a wildly disappointing 2022-23 season while emphasizing forward play. Does that mean that this isn’t a viable strategy? 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

We wouldn’t go that far. The Raptors struggled from a lack of halfcourt creation. Scottie Barnes didn’t take the sophomore leap that they’d hoped for in that regard. We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater: a deep platoon of versatile forwards can still be the basis of an NBA team. Should the Pelicans try to prove that? 

Why The New Orleans Pelicans Do The Deal 

Well, the Pelicans won’t lack half-court creation. Zion Williamson offers plenty. His ability to pressure the rim at an elite level will open up the floor for Siakam and Ingram. 

Conversely, Siakam is a good fit alongside Williamson as well. It’s a known fact that the Pelicans are looking to add a more versatile defensive big alongside Williamson. Why not Siakam? This is a player who can guard three through five. His versatility can cover for any shortcomings Williamson has in that regard. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

In fact, Siakam’s versatility also protects the Pelicans against Williamson’s regular injuries. He can replace Williamson when he’s off the floor. When they’re both on the floor with Ingram, the Pelicans will be among the most talented teams in the NBA. Should the Raptors help them assemble that talent? 

Why The Toronto Raptors Do The Deal 

We know that the Raptors are likely to trade Siakam. We also know why. Siakam and Barnes overlap, and the Raptors need to prioritize the much younger Barnes. Should this return satisfy them? 

We think so. We’ll start with the draft capital. The Raptors are landing three unprotected first-round picks here. That should be enough for Siakam – as long as they like the players they’re getting as well. In this case, they should. 

NBA TRADES, NEWS & RUMORS: Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors & New Orleans Pelicans Updates

The Raptors aren’t doing this to reunite with Valanciunas. They aren’t interested in Nance Jr., either. As a rebuilding team, they’ll likely showcase the pair of veterans leading up to the deadline and ultimately move them. On the other hand, they should be deeply interested in Daniels. He’s exactly the type of big, versatile playmaker this team has been coveting for years. Daniels can play at either guard spot, or small forward – that type of versatility is invaluable in the modern NBA. 

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