With the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors mired in poor starts could the two franchises look to swap James Harden for Pascal Siakam.
The Houston Rockets still have James Harden but that might not last much longer. The franchise has gotten off to a 3-5 start and with the standings so condensed right now, the contenders and pretenders are hardly separated.
The early season standings have created an environment where an incredible number of teams are in need of more firepower to either reach their preseason expectations or to capitalize on their surprisingly solid starts. As it stands right now, the only teams that shouldn’t be interested in Harden are the Washington Wizards, the Detroit Pistons, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Memphis Grizzlies.
In a league of 30 teams having only four teams that shouldn’t trade for your player gives the Rockets a tremendous amount of leverage as it means over 85-percent of the league should at least kick the tires on a trade. However, no team is in more need of an upgrade than the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors have gotten off to an abysmal start and find themselves near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 2-7 record. Over the past half-decade, the Raptors have been a model franchise through their impressive player development, drafting, and savvy use of the trade market.
If they’re to continue contending in the East they’ll need to weaponize those strengths to make a big move or risk drafting in the lottery for the first time since the 2012-13 season. One of the Raptors’ greatest draft and development stories has been Pascal Siakam’s rise from the 27th pick in the 2016 draft to an All-Star in his first four seasons in the league.
However, as Siakam enters his fifth NBA season the Raptors’ along with his development has stalled and the franchise should look to move him in an effort to secure James Harden. The question the Rockets need to answer is if Pascal Siakam is a worthy return for James Harden.
Next: How Siakam stacks up next to Harden