If the Atlanta Hawks are serious about going after Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam, then rumors of his being against re-signing with other teams if he is traded mean little. What does matter regardless is that it will cost and won’t be cheap.
“The Hawks are among the teams most aggressively pursuing Siakam, wrote Dan Favale of Bleacher Report on July 16. “Their chase has so far proved fruitless.”
Per reports, the Hawks and Raptors have gone back and forth on several different iterations of packages that would land the 2018-19 Most Improved Player in Atlanta. As the chatter between the two sides has decreased, other teams have entered the fray but at no point have the Hawks been considered anything but interested.
So, Favale presents a package that illustrates just how far the Hawks may have to go.
This trade certainly lands Siakam, 29, who averaged 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 5.8 assists this past season. He isn’t a floor-spacer even to the level of Hunter who shot a modest 35% from deep in 2022-23. But he is a multi-positional defender capable of switching 3-through-5 with ease and can hold his own in space against some shooting guards.
Siakam is a two-time All-Star and All-NBA selection as well as a former champion but he is heading into the final year of a four-year, $136.9 million contract.
The Hawks’ interest in Siakam picked up in earnest ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft but the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic have both emerged as possible, albeit surprising potential suitors in the weeks since.
There is also some belief that the Raptors will sit on their hands and do nothing.
Veteran Reggie Bullock, 32, would bring some perimeter defense and floor spacing coming off averaging 7.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while canning 38% of his triples for the Mavericks. He is entering the final year of a three-year, $30 million contract which means the Hawks could lose both players for nothing after next season.
The 2024 pick in this scenario is the one the Hawks received from the Spurs in the trade for Dejounte Murray and is lottery protected. The 2025 selection would be the least favorable of the Hawks, Spurs, and Chicago Bulls’ picks.
This deal would add roughly $4 million to the Hawks’ bottom line with Bullock and Siakam accounting for roughly $48 million while Bufkin, Capela, and Hunter add up to roughly $44 million.
Atlanta Hawks’ pursuit of Raptors Pascal Siakam could prove costly
Hawks center Clint Capela, 29, averaged 12.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks this past season and is a former rebounding champion. He is starting a two-year, $46 million contract but the idea of trading him has gained steam within the organization despite his role as a finisher for many of Trae Young’s passes.
Foward De’Andre Hunter, 25, posted a 15.4-point, 4.2-rebound, and 1.4-assist line while making a career-high 67 appearances this past season. But he has assumed the role once held by John Collins as the Hawks most often floated in trade rumors.
The former No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Hunter is starting a four-year, $90 million contract extension this coming season.
Losing Kobe Bufkin would certainly be a choice after he showed progress during Summer League.
Selected with the No. 15 overall pick in this year’s draft, Bufkin averaged 14.0 points with 3.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds across five appearances. He did not shoot the ball particularly well – 33.3% overall, 13.8% 3P – but was able to show his chops as a score, defender, and facilitator which he could be called upon to fulfill this coming season.
“Kobe (Bufkin) needs to settle down a little,” an anonymous staffer said, per Keith Smith of Spotrac on July 14. “It’ll come for him. We’re deep, but not in ballhandlers. Kobe could find a rotation role this year.”
Beyond Young and Murray, the only other point guards on the roster are veteran Patty Mills – who is 34 and has always been a score-first guard – and two-way player Tren Forrest.
Forrest hasn’t even signed his qualifying offer just yet.
Training camp is not until September leaving plenty of time for a lot of things to change for the Hawks and elsewhere. Whatever happens, let’s just hope it clearly moves them closer to contention rather than simply something financially related.