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Grading Pacers-Raptors deal centered around Pascal Siakam

Indiana makes the first big trade of the regular season.

Toronto Raptors v Utah Jazz
Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors looks on during the first half of a game against the Utah Jazz at Delta Center on January 12, 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors have officially started their latest rebuild, sending star forward Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora and three-first round picks. The Raptors are also getting Kira Lewis Jr. from the Pelicans, who are the third team in the deal. Here’s the full breakdown of the trade per Adrian Wojnarowski.

Here’s our reaction to the deal, along with grades for the Pacers and Raptors. The Pelicans are effectively getting some salary relief for a player they didn’t have a role for, so they won’t be receiving a grade here.

Pacers: B+ (for now)

Even with three first-round picks going out, Indiana adds a star frontcourt player without giving up any key rotation guys. Bennedict Mathurin should be able to step into a bigger role with Brown out but more importantly, point guard Tyrese Haliburton gets a versatile running mate to make a playoff push. Siakam’s defensive deficiencies will be covered by Myles Turner, and Haliburton should be able to unlock the forward offensively. Perhaps Siakam’s perimeter percentage will also climb a bit. Indiana still keeps most of its draft picks intact, and the 2024 class isn’t looking too hot anyways. The real question now is whether the Pacers can re-sign Siakam in the offseason once the forward hits free agency.

Raptors: C+

We’ve seen stars who are just under 30 years old get dealt before, and it typically doesn’t end up hurting the team giving away the star too much. If Siakam doesn’t re-sign with the Pacers in the summer, this grade will go up a bit. Three first-round picks is nothing to scoff at, although the two in the upcoming class might not have as much value as previously thought. Brown, Nwora and Lewis Jr. aren’t going to move the needle much for the Raptors in terms of young players for the future, and that’s where this deal really hurts Toronto. The Raptors should’ve asked for either Mathurin and Jarace Walker in this deal.