Fred VanVleet responds to Pascal Siakam trade rumors

PORTLAND, OREGON - JANUARY 11: Fred VanVleet #23 and Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors react in the first quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center on January 11, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

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.

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