None of this is what Siakam himself wants.
“That’s the last thing on his mind…” his agent, Todd Ramasar, told NBC Sports. “He loves it there. Yes. He won a championship… That’s never come from us that there’s a change…
“Because of the pandemic, because the Raptors missed the playoffs, there’s been a lot of speculation around [about a trade], but it’s not because of Pascal or anything he’s said. Or even the organization. I think that’s just the chatter that picks up going into an offseason.”
The Raptors told Siakam they are not looking to trade him. There were teams that called to check on Siakam’s availability, league sources have told NBC Sports. Part of the reason other teams tested those waters was Siakam is coming off a down season — one that still saw him score 21.4 points and grab 7.2 rebounds a game, but a season where his efficiency dipped from the All-NBA levels of a season before. Other GMs are always looking to swoop in and try to pick off top talent at a bargain price, and when the Raptors drafted Scottie Barnes — who plays a similar position to Siakam — other teams made calls.
There were reasons for Siakam’s struggles. He and the Raptors played the entire season on the road with their “home” games in Tampa Bay. Then he — and a bunch of the Raptors — came down with COVID-19 during the season. Later, late in the season, he injured his shoulder running into a screen, which ultimately required surgery.
Siakam is putting in the work on his rehab and Ramasar said he expects to see a bounce back to Siakam’s All-NBA levels. Part of that is Ramasar working to make sure those trade rumors are out of his mind.
“First of all, it’s about understanding when it is purely speculation as opposed to there being some substance to that, right? Is there traction to those rumors?” Ramasar said of how he walked Siakam through his first time on the trade rumor carousel. “It starts with having good communication and a great relationship with the team and management, and communication. And it’s understanding that, because this is a business, at any point you can be traded…
“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 then you move forward and stay in control of the things you have control over.”
The other thing Ramasar told Siakam — if you and the Raptors are winning, the rumors fade.
“Winning is a cure-all,” he said. “If you’re winning, nobody is talking about trade rumors, whether they’re fact or fiction. So continue to work on your game, help your team win, and everything takes care of itself.”
To hear more of Ramasar talking about Siakam — as well as the No. 12 pick Joshua Primo, Thomas Bryant of the Wizards, and more — check out the PBT Podcast, where we dive into all those topics.