Raptors’ Scottie Barnes pick makes a Pascal Siakam trade probable

Jul 29, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Scottie Barnes (Florida State) poses with NBA commissioner Adam Silver after being selected as the number four overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors surprised the NBA world when they selected Scottie Barnes with the fourth pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Experts expected the Raptors to choose point guard Jalen Suggs for several reasons. Mainly, their franchise legend Kyle Lowry is likely out the door. With the hole at the point guard position and depth at the forward spots, drafting Suggs made sense. Instead, Toronto opted to add yet another wing that can defend multiple positions.

As a result, the Barnes pick makes for somewhat of an imbalance in roster construction. Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby already take up the majority of minutes at the forward spots. Barnes is versatile, but his natural position is at power forward. There's something strange about using number four on Barnes with Siakam on the roster.

Raptors rebuilding?

Jan 10, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) defends Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) during the third quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Could this selection mean that Pascal Siakam's time in Toronto is at its end? Marc Stein seems to think. In his latest report, Stein had this to say about a potential Siakam trade:

"Toronto's surprise selection of Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday's draft over Jalen Suggs immediately convinced some rival teams that the Raptors' appetite for trading Pascal Siakam will only grow after Siakam's tumultuous season while the Raptors were forced to play in Tampa."

There are rumors of the Raptors being in trade talks with the Golden State Warriors. They would be trading Pascal Siakam in exchange for James Wiseman and the seventh pick. We now know this is Jonathan Kuminga. The team has also shown interest in point guard Lonzo Ball. If these rumors are true, Toronto could be looking at a full-scale rebuild. Presumably, the team would move on from Fred VanVlee. Instead, they would focus on the development of their younger players. If all works out, the Raptors rotation for the start of the season could be much different than the one we're used to.

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