With the NBA Draft now three days behind us, the trade ideas are flying once more
The Portland Trail Blazers drafted three prospects in the NBA Draft on Thursday, but how certain is it the rookies will line up on opening night in a Rip City uniform?
Yes, with the draft now firmly in the rearview, the next round of NBA trade ideas and speculation around free agency can begin. Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes has a new idea for Portland to trade for two-time Toronto Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam. What may surprise readers is the proposal doesn’t include shiny No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson.
Instead, Hughes suggested a fair price for the forward would feature a package of Anfernee Simons, Nassir Little, No. 23 pick Kris Murray and No. 43 pick Rayan Rupert.
The Blazers don’t “truly covet” either Siakam or OG Anunoby, per Yahoo! Sports’ Jake Fischer. But that report referred to Portland’s reticence to move the No. 3 pick, which became Scoot Henderson. The Blazers might feel a little more covetous if the headliner of a package for Siakam were a less valuable asset, like Simons.
Siakam tanked his trade value (perhaps purposely?) by suggesting he wouldn’t re-sign with a team if traded away from Toronto, per Matt Moore of the Action Network. If he’s more of a rental than a keeper, that changes everything. Not only is Henderson off the table in that scenario, but so is Shaedon Sharpe.
The Blazers could have a shot to land Siakam with Simons as the main outgoing asset, provided they attach some young pieces like 2023 draftees Murray and Rupert, plus Little for some salary filler.
From Toronto’s perspective, Hughes wrote the idea has legs given point guard Fred VanVleet’s possible departure in free agency.
With Fred VanVleet possibly departing in free agency, the Raptors have a glaring hole at the point—one Simons, a 24-year-old with a career 38.7 percent hit rate from deep, could fill.
If Toronto intends to run it back with the same core, retaining Siakam and hoping it can re-sign him for less than the max next summer makes sense. But if a soft reset is in the cards, moving Siakam for some value now could be the better play. The alternatives—maxing him out or losing him for nothing—are scary.
It’s an interesting proposal, one Portland would have to consider if Toronto finds the price fair (though apparently the Raptors front office doesn’t find much fair). Fetching an all-star forward without including any future picks, Sharpe, or Henderson seems like great value for Portland. As Hughes mentioned, Siakam did suggest he wouldn’t re-sign after the season if he got relocated, but maybe the Blazers have faith Damian Lillard and their culture could persuade Siakam to stick around.
That brings up the other main plus of this trade: Portland would likely solve their Lillard problem for the time being by getting him an established, veteran running mate. Simons is a talented young guard, but now with Lillard, Sharpe and Henderson in the backcourt, he is more expendable than ever. If the team truly wants to build around Lillard, this trade would tick a lot of boxes.
What do you think, Rip City? Do you think a trade like this is even possible, and if so, would you go for it?
Note: Underneath the Siakam trade proposal, Hughes includes the now obligatory off-season suggestion of trading Lillard to the Miami Heat. Discuss that trade idea, too, if you wish. Or not. Choose your own destiny there.