Report: Siakam wants to stay with Raptors
Despite the Toronto Raptors' decision to draft promising forward Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 pick in July's draft and reported interest from rival teams, Pascal Siakam wishes to remain a member of the organization, sources told The Athletic's Sam Amick.
Raptors vice-chairman Masai Ujiri has reportedly told Siakam's camp the team is not actively shopping the 27-year-old in trade talks. Ujiri's statement echoes general manager Bobby Webster's recent public assertion that rumored discussions centered around Siakam are being initiated from opposing front offices.
Being away from Toronto for much of the past 18 months has reportedly influenced Siakam's desire to stay with the franchise, according to Amick.
The Raptors haven't played in Toronto since Feb. 28, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The then-reigning champs mounted their postseason defense in the Disney World bubble in Orlando last summer and fall, then played the entirety of their 2020-21 home slate in Tampa due to travel restrictions between Canada and the United States.
Siakam's points per game (21.4) and scoring efficiency (49.3 eFG%) both dropped off during an uneven 2020-21 campaign after two seasons of rapid growth, which resulted in his Most Improved Player Award in 2018-19 and All-Star and All-NBA Second Team selections in 2019-20.
Still, with his typical brand of versatile defense, Siakam added 7.1 rebounds and a career-best 4.5 assists per game.
The Cameroonian-born big man is expected to miss the first month of the 2021-22 campaign while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
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