The dog days of summer aren’t even upon Atlanta Hawks fans yet.
Whereas it usually takes commentary from a player or players to get the rumor mill abuzz, now can be a time when simple follows can be viewed as much more. Such is the case for Hawks star Trae Young and Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam.
Fans on the social media site Reddit noticed the Hawks point guard was among the followers for the Raptors forward with some suggesting that it was a recent occurrence. That was more than enough to have fans believing something was cooking between the two teams heading in different directions.
The Hawks are retooling on the fly to compete while the Raptors are doing so with the looks of a team leaning into more of a potential rebuild.
Atlanta is said to be persistent in its efforts to pry Siakam loose in a trade but has thus far been unsuccessful, per Marc Stein of the Stein Line on June 24.
Siakam, 29, averaged career highs with 24.2 points and 5.8 assists this past season adding 7.8 boards and falling just shy of 1.0 steals per game. He is a two-time All-Star and All-NBA selection, NBA champion, and the 2018-19 Most Improve Player.
The seven-year veteran is heading into the final year of a four-year, $137 million contract.
“Atlanta has…maintained a pursuit of Raptors forward Pascal Siakam,” wrote Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer on June 22. “The Hawks’ have attempted several creative packages…including at least one three-team scenario. Opposing front offices still believe the Raptors’ high valuation of their players…marks the biggest roadblock to any potential trade.”.
The Hawks were still interested in potentially acquiring Siakam as of July 2, per Michael Grange of Sportsnet.
There is one glaring issue with thinking this hints at anything, though.
No way to know when Hawks’ Trae Young followed Raptors’ Pascal Siakam
While some fans will insist that Young’s following Siakam is recent, that is not how Instagram’s algorithms work. Rather than chronologically, follower (and following) lists with over 200 entries are sorted according to other criteria.
“Instagram’s algorithm lists accounts at the top of the followers list that you’re most likely to interact with, based on profiles you most commonly view, message, or DM,” wrote Tech Guru of Nerd Techy on January 1. “If you haven’t necessarily interacted with any of them, Instagram may base the order on shared interests.”
In other words, Instagram most likely showed or is showing Siakam’s name at or near the top of the list for users who follow a lot of Hawks-related content.
With all of the rumors swirling in recent weeks, it’s easy to see how that could happen.
Fans noted that Young also followed Dejounte Murray last offseason before the blockbuster trade that brought him to Atlanta from the San Antonio Spurs, a move that underscores their willingness to go all-in for a desired target.
That is still a far cry from being definitive, as is one player happening to follow another even if the timing is notable.