The Atlanta Hawks’ rumored interest in Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is well-documented. But Shams Charania of The Athletic has named them among a trio of teams linked to the two-time All-Star, along with the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings, as ‘expected suitors’ for Siakam.
One of the major roadblocks to a trade getting done has been Siakam’s stance on not signing an extension with his new team.
He is in the final year of a four-year, $136.9 million contract.
The Hawks appeared to have a void at power forward coming into the season after trading John Collins to the Utah Jazz this summer. But third-year forward Jalen Johnson’s emergence this season may have altered that thinking.
The Hawks have struggled since Johnson went down, though they weren’t winning much before that either. Perhaps his absence restarted what Shams Charania of The Athletic described as “intense talks” for a Siakam trade during his appearance on OverDrive 1050, a radio station in Toronto.
"Atlanta felt like they were close and that they had a pretty good package for Pascal Siakam last summer in July," Charania said on December 7. " There was some pretty intense conversations back and forth … and the deal did not get done."
Charania also noted the Hawks’ previously rumored trade offer of De’Andre Hunter, AJ Griffin, and draft picks.
Hawks, Raptors separated by one half-game in East standings
The Hawks do not have much in the way of draft capital thanks to their trade for Dejounte Murray last summer. It is theoretically possible that they mortgage the rest of their future to finally land Siakam. It seems unlikely, though, given the mediocre start to the regular season so far.
Atlanta has lost 10 of their last 15 games and sits three games below .500.
The Raptors are just a half-game back of the Hawks in the Eastern Conference standings. And Raptors president Masai Ujiri is a notoriously shrewd negotiator, sometimes even to a fault with teams coming away dissatisfied with how he operates.
For their part, the Hawks declined to include rookie first-round pick Kobe Bufkin, who has not played since the preseason, in a trade for Siakam.
The Hawks have also been linked to other trades involving Hunter and starting center Clint Capela who some view as a roadblock to Onyeka Okongwu.
Atlanta will try to right the ship and snap their three-game losing streak with a home date against the defending champion Denver Nuggets who come in on a three-game skid of their own.