NBA: Pascal Siakam is getting traded to Pacers from Raptors
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NBA: Pascal Siakam is getting traded to Pacers from Raptors

/ 10:09 AM January 18, 2024

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Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam sits on the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Friday, Jan. 12, 2024, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Pascal Siakam is being traded to the Indiana Pacers, a person with knowledge of the agreement said Wednesday, ending a run of nearly eight years with the Toronto Raptors during which he was a two-time All-NBA selection, two-time All-Star and part of the team that won the 2019 NBA title.

Siakam is going to Indiana in exchange for three future first-round draft picks and a pair of players with NBA championship rings — guard Bruce Brown and forward Jordan Nwora — said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade was still pending league approval.

“Pascal is just a pure basketball junkie,” Toronto coach Darko Rajaković said Wednesday night before his team played the Miami Heat. “He is the first one to show up in the gym, the last one to leave. He was always coachable, always professional since Day 1. … I can only be thankful and grateful for all of his contributions to our team this season.”

READ: Raptors’ Pascal Siakam is NBA’s Most Improved Player

ESPN, which first reported the full terms of the trade, also said the New Orleans Pelicans were involved and would send Kira Lewis to Toronto as part of the deal. That move would put the Pelicans in position to get below the luxury tax threshold.

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The deal is a huge move for Indiana, the NBA’s highest-scoring team this season. The Pacers entered Wednesday at No. 6 in the Eastern Conference and soon will get to pair Siakam alongside All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton, who currently is out with a hamstring issue.

Siakam, 29, is in the final year of his contract, which pays him nearly $38 million this season, and becomes eligible this summer to sign a five-year deal that could be worth as much as $247 million. The Pacers are expected to at least consider giving Siakam such a deal.

Siakam was averaging 22.2 points this season, and he has averaged 17.4 points and 6.5 rebounds in his career. He was an All-Star in 2020 and 2023 and was the last starter from Toronto’s title team still with the franchise.

Brown will be joining his fifth different team once he arrives in Toronto, after stints with Detroit, Brooklyn, Denver and the Pacers. He was averaging a career-best 12.1 points this season, his sixth in the NBA.

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Nwora averaged 5.2 points with the Pacers this season. Lewis appeared in 118 games — all in a reserve role — over parts of four seasons with the Pelicans and was averaging 2.9 points this season.

Later Wednesday, the Pacers waived veteran forward James Johnson. He had appeared in five games with Indiana since getting signed in mid-December.

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