Fred VanVleet doesn’t want to see Pascal Siakam play anywhere else. The Raptors guard took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to respond to trade rumors surrounding his all-star teammate. The tweet, though brief, sends a clear message.
“Me 2 (too). “Fred VanVleet
Siakam blossomed into a legitimate star for Toronto during their 2018-19 campaign. His efforts earned him the Most Improved Player award for the year. Moreover, his added contributions helped the Raptors win their first NBA championship in their first-ever trip to the NBA finals.
As the seasons came by, more members of the old guard tapered off. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green left in 2019. Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka found new homes the next year. The team traded away Norman Powell at the trade deadline earlier this year. And most recently, Kyle Lowry bid his farewell to the organization in free agency. Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam became the only key players from the championship roster left with these players gone.
Why would the Raptors trade Siakam?
While Siakam did take another step towards superstardom in the 2019-20 season, he appears to have plateaued. He struggled mightily in the NBA bubble last year, and the strain in his production carried over into the 2020-21 season. This resulted in him getting benched from time to time, which he didn’t take rather well. In the midst of what became a terrible season for the Raptors, tensions appeared to have grown high inside the organization. Siakam may have a part to play in that development, along with several other factors.
However, given the results from last season, the Raptors may merely seek to rebuild and don’t see Siakam as a building block for the future. They could potentially see Chris Boucher taking over as the team’s franchise power forward. Whatever the case, the rumors suggest that Pascal Siakam may not remain with the Raptors for the long haul. It goes to show just how fast things can change in the NBA.