Raptors post-deadline rumours: Kevin Durant wanted Nets to trade for Pascal Siakam
It sounds like the Raptors had a lot of balls in the air before deciding to stay quiet at the NBA trade deadline. Here are the juiciest rumours and reports.
As the dust settles after Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, details are starting to leak out about all the deals that didn’t pan out for the Toronto Raptors.
Toronto ultimately decided not to move any of its top assets and instead finished as a "buyer" by adding Jakob Poeltl from the San Antonio Spurs.
Here's a look at some of the reports and rumours that didn't come to fruition.
Kevin Durant wanted the Nets to trade for Pascal Siakam
After Kyrie Irving was shipped to Dallas and prior to getting traded to the Phoenix Suns, Kevin Durant reportedly made one last attempt to salvage his tenure in Brooklyn by lobbying the front office to bring in some talent to join him. According to NBA insider Zach Lowe, one of the players he set his sights on was Raptors All-Star Pascal Siakam.
According to Zach Lowe, Kevin Durant reportedly wanted the Nets to trade for Pascal Siakam in the intervening time between Kyrie trade and KD trade. Zach Lowe Says KD thought Pascal would be a good fit beside him.
KD to Toronto is currently on hold.
— Oren Weisfeld (@OrenWeisfeld) February 10, 2023
Siakam wasn’t a name mentioned frequently in rumours leading up to the trade deadline, with both Marc Stein and Sam Amick saying it was unlikely the team would move the 28-year-old. It appears Brooklyn was unable to match the price Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster were asking for their star player, if they were indeed open to moving him.
The Raptors were among the teams most frequently linked to Durant when the superstar requested to be traded from the Nets last summer, but discussions reportedly fell apart when Toronto refused to include reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in the deal.
With the Raptors positioned to cash in a number of chips in a seller’s market, it was surprising to see the team remain mostly intact after the 3 p.m. deadline, especially after Toronto started the day by acquiring Poeltl from the Spurs in exchange for Khem Birch, a protected first-round pick and two second-round picks.
Although Poeltl helps fill a gap at centre that had been empty since Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka left town, it raised further questions about the Raptors’ free agency plans. Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr. and Poeltl are all up for contract renewal after this season and will be expecting pay raises, which will require some cap gymnastics for the Raptors to make work — if they even want to.
Packages including three first-round picks were offered for O.G. Anunoby
With Durant and Irving headed to the Western Conference, the entire dynamic of the league shifted. The Eastern Conference opened up a little more – to the delight of teams like Philadelphia, Boston, and Milwaukee – and the Western Conference became tougher. With that in mind, the price for O.G. Anunoby might have actually gone up yesterday.
Anunoby is the dream player for anyone trying to contend in the West, as he has a proven track record of being able to defend the best players in the league. In addition to that, it has been thoroughly reported that Anunoby was unhappy with his role in Toronto and wanted to be moved to a team where he could have more of an impact.
It’s been reported that teams including Golden State, Memphis, and Indiana made offers to Toronto for Anunoby, yet Ujuri said “a blockbuster trade could not be made." Teams seemed to be offering multiple first-round picks in exchange for Anunoby, yet the price was not right.
Also notes that the Raptors received three-1st packages for OG Anunoby — including offers from Memphis & Indiana — but that Toronto was looking for a good player in addition to the pick haul.
— Nekias (Nuh-KY-us) Duncan (@NekiasNBA) February 10, 2023
According to rumours, the Raptors wanted multiple first-round picks, plus the addition of one or two “good players” in exchange for Anunoby.
Multiple teams made offers for Fred VanVleet
Another Raptors player at the centre of trade rumours over the past month was VanVleet – who will most likely decline his player option this summer and become a free agent.
VanVleet is a high-calibre player with a clutch 3-point shot and a toughness that translates well on court. His defence is also strong, so if the Raptors were to move him, it wouldn’t come cheap.
It’s being reported that both the Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks were interested in VanVleet, but similar to the case for Anunoby, the price was not right.
A couple of deadline day tidbits: Discussions were had with Milwaukee involving VanVleet, Grayson Allen and a future first. Clippers were talking about Kennard and Brandon Boston Jr. but didn’t want to include a pick.
— Michael Grange (@michaelgrange) February 10, 2023
The Bucks reportedly offered Grayson Allen and picks, while the Clippers seemed to be offering Luke Kennard and Brandon Boston Jr., but didn’t want to add picks to that offer. Toronto also seemed to be interested in acquiring Terance Mann, but the Clippers were not interested in that scenario. This was all after reports surfaced a few weeks ago that Kawhi Leonard wanted to add one of his former Raptors teammates to the Clippers squad, specifically VanVleet or Kyle Lowry.
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