Toronto Raptors

Pascal Siakam: Trade 'last thing' on mind of Toronto Raptors forward, says agent

Pascal Siakam's name has been mentioned several times in trade rumours since the 2020-21 season came to a close.

On June 28, The Athletic's John Hollinger wrote about there being "a widespread expectation" that the Golden State Warriors would "seek more immediate upgrades to the roster" ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft, and named Siakam as a player to watch. On July 24, Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported that Siakam was "considered available for trade by sources around the league."

Fisher added a week later that there had been "an intriguing CJ McCollum-Pascal Siakam trade framework discussed between Portland and Toronto," though talks hadn't generated "significant momentum."

More recently, The Sacramento Bee's Jason Anderson reported that the Warriors, Sacramento Kings and LA Clippers were said to be particularly "enamored" with Siakam.

MORE: What to make of trade rumours involving Siakam

Siakam's agent, Todd Ramasar, was asked about the trade rumours surrounding the Raptors forward while on the PBT Podcast with Kurt Helin of NBC Sports.

"First of all, it's understanding when it's purely speculation opposed to there being some substance to that or some traction to those rumours," Ramasar responded when asked how he's helped Siakam navigate through the rumours. "It starts with just communication, having a great relationship with the team and management. It's also understanding that at any point because it is a business, you can be traded. If the right opportunity presents itself to any team for any player, that offer is going to be entertained."

"But in this situation, knowing that it was more so speculation than anything else, it's having those conversations with the client. It's also the team reassuring the player, in this case, Pascal, and also our team on the representation side. And then again just moving forward and knowing that, hey, stay in control of the things you have control over.

"The one thing that we've talked about is winning is a cure-all. If you're winning, no one is talking about trade rumours, whether they're fact or fiction. So in staying in control over the things we have control over, it's like, continue to work on your game, continue to help your team win games and the rest takes care of itself.

"You can't control rumours. They are what they are."

The No. 27 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Siakam was named the league's Most Improved Player in 2018-19 and played a key role in Toronto's championship run in the 2019 NBA Playoffs. He averaged career-highs of 22.9 points and 7.3 rebounds per game the following season, earning him his first All-Star selection in addition to an All-NBA Second Team selection.

Siakam averaged 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and a career-best 4.5 assists in the 2020-21 season, but he was limited to 56 games and the Raptors missed the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

The Raptors have undergone a lot of change this offseason, but Ramasar says Siakam has no interest in being traded.

"He loves - he's won a championship ... yes, absolutely," Ramasar said when asked if Siakam is comfortable in Toronto. "That's never come from us that there's a change.

"Look, Pascal is a loyal guy, he was drafted to the Raptors in 2016, the second pick of their first-round picks - Jakob Poeltl was their lottery pick that year. Pascal wasn't the one that was traded when teams were trying to trade for Pascal prior to the championship. Masai [Ujiri] and Bobby [Webster] believed in Pascal, Nick Nurse has believed in Pascal, you know, we've seen the evolution of Pascal in a Raptors uniform, to the point of him winning a championship there, the following year even after Kawhi [Leonard] left, they were very competitive, second in the East before the pandemic and were actually on a roll, to where Pascal was Second Team All-NBA.

"That's been an organization, a city, a country that's embraced him. That's the last thing on his mind. Just because, I think, again, because of the pandemic and because the Raptors missed the playoffs, there's been a lot of speculation around that, but it's not because of Pascal, anything he's said or done, or even the organization. That's just the chatter that makes up going into an offseason and the Raptors were an easy target because of it."

Having undergone surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder this offseason, Siakam is expected to miss the start of the 2021-22 season. Ramasar said Siakam is doing "exceptional in his rehab" and that he's "right on schedule in terms of where he should be post-surgery."

Click here to listen to the entire podcast.

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