Houston Rockets players to target in James Harden trade: 4. Pascal Siakam
The Toronto Raptors are reportedly expected to make a run at Harden, which almost guarantees that they will include Pascal Siakam in trade talks. Acquiring Siakam would be beneficial for the Rockets, as he’s a 26-year-old franchise player, who could allow the Rockets to form a Twin Towers tandem of him and 2020 free agent addition Christian Wood.
At 6-foot-9 Siakam would allow Wood to play the center position, but also presents the versatility to play either forward position, in addition to thriving alongside John Wall. Siakam helped lead the Raptors to the NBA title in 2018-19, as he averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists during the regular season, which led to him winning the Most Improved Player award.
Siakam raised his level of play in the playoffs, as he averaged 19 points and 7.1 rebounds, and played even better in the NBA Finals, as he averaged 19.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists against the Golden State Warriors. But for as well as Siakam played that season, many believed he was the beneficiary of Kawhi Leonard’s presence, which was a theory that was put to the test following Leonard’s departure in the offseason of 2019.
Siakam unsurprisingly became the Raptors’ franchise player without Leonard, and he played even better with a bigger role, as he averaged 22.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, which were all increases from his 2018-19 campaign. Siakam became an All-Star and was also named to the All-NBA team, which dispelled the belief that he couldn’t thrive without Leonard on the roster.
Siakam has also proven that he can hit the outside shot, as he made 36.9 percent of his threes in 2018-19, followed up by 35.9 percent of his threes in 2019-20. Siakam has gotten off to a stellar start in 2020-21, as he’s averaging 19.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 4.7 assists, with the latter two being career highs, but it hasn’t led to success on the court for the Raptors, as they currently sit 2-7 as of this writing, which is good for 13th in the Eastern Conference.
With the Raps struggling, they certainly figure to call the Rockets about Harden, with Siakam being the centerpiece of the trade.
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