After having 5 consecutive seasons with 50+ wins, including a run to the NBA Finals and winning their first title in franchise history in 2019, the Toronto Raptors entered the 2020-21 NBA season with high expectations once again, but due to injuries and health protocols, they were never able to live up to the hype.
Toronto finished the season 27-45, 12th in the Eastern Conference, and they will now have a lot of questions to try and answer this offseason, beginning with the future of Kyle Lowry. At the trade deadline this year, Lowry was the biggest name available and the 76ers, Heat and Lakers all made big runs at trading for the veteran point guard, but Toronto held onto him, dealing Norman Powell to the Blazers in exchange for Rodney Hood and Gary Trent Jr. instead.
Now, Lowry is set to become an unrestricted free agent and could opt to sign with another team in the offseason, leaving the Raptors after 9 seasons and leaving them with no value in return. A sign-and-trade is definitely still on the table since the Raptors own Lowry’s bird rights, but all-in-all, this is a really messy situation for the Raptors to figure out financially because they will also have to figure out what to do with Gary Trent Jr.
He is set to become a restricted free agent, giving the Raptors a little more breathing room in terms of getting a deal done, but he is likely going to see a significant increase in his next contract monetarily speaking, so where do the Raptors go from here?
Is a complete rebuild in their future or are they going to look to bring Lowry back and make one more run at potentially being something special in the Eastern Conference? If they let both Kyle Lowry and Gary Trent Jr. walk, the Raptors could be heading towards a rebuild, which is why a guy like Pascal Siakam could be made available in trade talks, so keep an eye on that in NBA trade rumors.
Siakam is an All-Star caliber forward, but many team executives around the league believe he has reached the “peak of his career,” and as a result, may be someone the Toronto Raptors view as “expendable.” If this is the case, plenty of teams will likely show interest in Siakam and according to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, the Charlotte Hornets could be one of the teams interested in him.
With that said, let’s take a look at a hypothetical offseason trade that Swartz put together that would send Pascal Siakam to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for a bunch of young pieces.