Trade offer No. 2: A feeling-out offer
This second potential offer by the Indiana Pacers is a bit of a “feeling-out” package. It starts with Buddy Hield to make the money-go-round. There are two key assets, in addition to Hield’s expiring contract, that the Toronto Raptors would be getting their hands on too, though. First, let’s start with Jalen Smith. He’s an underrated stretch-big that is coming off a solid season with the Pacers. At just 23 years old, he’s a young talent that Toronto could take a flier on.
The key piece of this deal, however, is Jarace Walker, who was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Walker wasn’t necessarily a “star player” during his lone season with Houston in college but he showed enough to suggest that he could emerge as an important player for a successful team in the NBA. He was a unanimous top-10 talent in this year’s draft class.
He has the potential to be an impactful two-way player and has a higher ceiling than Precious Achiuwa. If the Raptors are looking to find somewhat of a long-term replacement for Siakam, Walker could emerge as a candidate to do so. He may need time to develop, but he has the chance to be a really good player (perhaps not to the extent that Siakam is) down the line.
All that said, I have my doubts the Raptors would be totally on board with a package centered around just Walker.