Let's start with Toppin, as his case is the lesser of the two. Originally coming to Indiana for two second-round picks in the 2023 offseason, Toppin has been solid for the Pacers as the first or second power forward in the rotation, averaging career-highs in minutes, points, rebounds, assists, steals, field goal percentage, and three-point percentage.
It was widely believed that either Toppin or Jalen Smith would be dealt to Toronto in a Siakam trade if Indiana were to keep their young pieces, such as Jarace Walker and Bennedict Mathurin.
After Indiana miraculously kept both Smith and Toppin, a logjam started forming at the power forward position, with the new addition of Siakam meaning that Toppin, Smith, and rookie Jarace Walker would have to fight for minutes in a newly stacked frontcourt.
With Smith most likely walking in free agency, the focus has turned to Toppin, who, despite being productive, is seen as more of a liability come playoff time than Smith, whose three-point shooting has risen to elite level this season.
As a result, Smith's minutes have gone up since the Siakam trade (17.9 to 19.3), with Toppin's going down (23.6 to 19.3). Originally the starting power forward for this Pacers team going into the season, Toppin is now seen as a more expendable asset as the team looks for more wing depth for the playoffs.