Newly minted Indiana Pacers forward Pascal Siakam said he never wanted a trade from the Toronto Raptors. Or at least, he didn’t request one.
Siakam broke his silence on the trade that sent him from the Toronto Raptors to the Pacers in a piece for The Players’ Tribune.
“Toronto is just all I’ve known — and all I’ve wanted to know,” Siakam wrote. “I never asked for a trade. Maybe this sounds naive, but I felt I could be one of those dudes who spends his whole career on one team. That was my mentality even with the rumors. Like: I helped the Raptors win their first NBA title. So eventually I’ll help them win their second. I always took that as a given, you know? I took a lot of pride in being that guy who’s connecting the past and the future here, and keeping it all as one era. But I also realize it’s a business … and it’s their right to decide when it’s time for an era to end.”
Siakam won a championship with Toronto in 2019 and completed his career there with averages of 17.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 510 games. A big reason he wanted to come to Indiana was star guard Tyrese Haliburton, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
“But now I’m realizing the sad part…. that it’s about to be my journey in reverse: probably a few less RAPTORS 43’s in the crowd at the next home game, then a few less at the game after that, then a few less, a few less, a few less,” Siakam wrote. “And that’s OK. That’s how it goes. I’ll tell you what though: When I’m back next month as an opponent, and it’s the national anthems, and I’m standing there looking around? I do hope maybe I spot one. And I’ll still give it a YESSSS!!! on the inside. It’ll still mean a lot to me. Because it’s still a Toronto thing. And I’m Toronto forever.”
Siakam, 29, is averaging 22.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists this season, shooting 52 percent from the field and 32 percent on 3-pointers. He is making $37.9 million in the final year of his contract.
His agent indicated that Siakam will be with the Pacers for the long term, indicating he plans to re-up with the team after the season.
“I would say this. The future is bright because it’s a perfect fit,” Siakam’s agent, Todd Ramasar, told Mark Medina. “It’s a perfect marriage for Pascal based on some of the things that I touched on. Everything I described about the organization, from ownership to the front office to the coaching staff and to player personnel, is representative of Pascal. There is that through line where everything is about ‘team’ and ‘winning.’ In winning, it’s also about having humility and competitiveness. Those are all the right attributes that you want in an organization down to the individuals that leads to something special in the future.”