Atlanta Hawks Pursuing Pascal Siakam

The Hawks are apparently eager to grab the Raptors star.

BYBen Mock
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Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors

We're just hours away from the 2023 NBA Draft in New York. Already a flurry of draft-related moves have been made, but more are sure to come. In the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks are eager to trade for the Toronto Raptor's Pascal Siakam.

The Cameroonian power forward was a first-round draft pick for the Raptors in 2016 and has blossomed into one of the franchise's most beloved players. A key piece in their 2019 championship, he is a fan-favorite and productive starter in Toronto. This past season, Siakam averaged a career-high 24.2 points per game.

However, the Raptors only managed a .500 record before losing to the Bulls in the Play-In Tournament. This led to the firing of five-year head coach Nick Nurse. While the Raptors made a promising hire in Darko Rajaković, the roster is in flux. Fred VanVleet could leave, and Atlanta is stepping up its pursuit of Siakam.

Related: Boston Celtics trade for Kristaps Porziņģis

Toronto's Demands For Siakam Stall Trade Talks

Per Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer, talks between Atlanta and Toronto have stalled due to the Raptor's high floor for a Siakam trade. “Atlanta has also maintained a pursuit of Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, according to league sources. The Hawks’ have attempted several creative packages to land the All-NBA talent from Toronto, including at least one three-team scenario. Opposing front offices still believe the Raptors’ high valuation of their players, such as Siakam and OG Anunoby, marks the biggest roadblock to any potential trade of either Raptor.”

The language used indicates that the Raptors are likely looking for multiple first-round picks in exchange for Siakam. This is likely too rich a price for many suitors. Despite this, the Raptors are reportedly open to trading him. It's just a matter of receiving an offer that meets their expectations.

These beliefs have likely been further amplified by recent trade activity. The Raptors will surely want to avoid the fate of the Washington Wizards, who failed to get any guaranteed first-round picks when trading Bradley Beal. Additionally, the Boston Celtics essentially managed to acquire two first-round picks in exchange for Marcus Smart.

Related: Golden State Warriors trade for Chris Paul

While Siakam Might Move, Paul George Likely Won't

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 27: Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers dribbles against Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors during the second half of their NBA game at Scotiabank Arena on December 27, 2022 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

While Siakam may yet change teams, one NBA veteran who likely won't is Paul George. The LA Clippers received some interest, namely from the Blazers, Rockets, and Knicks, for George's services. However, it now appears that George will be staying in LA for the time being.

The Clippers reportedly turned down an offer that included the third-overall pick from the Blazers. Meanwhile, LA also broke off talks with the Knicks before things progressed too far. While the team was clearly open to trading George, it appears that the interest in the veteran is not where the Clippers would want it to be.

This means that in all likelihood, George will return to anchor the Clippers alongside Kawhi Leonard for at least one more season. Both players have a player option year for the 2024-25 season. However, that could all change if a genuinely enticing offer was made for George's services.

Related: Charlotte Hornets consider Scoot Henderson with #2 pick

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.