3 Reasons why the Pascal Siakam trade was a massive win for Pacers

The Indiana Pacers made a blockbuster trade with the Toronto Raptors for Pascal Siakam, and here are three reasons why it was a huge win.

Indiana Pacers, Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors, NBA Trade Rumors
Indiana Pacers, Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors, NBA Trade Rumors / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Marginal draft capital given up

The main gripe given by Indiana Pacers fans, Raptors fans, and the rest of the league, is that Indiana had to give up three first-round picks for Siakam. For an expiring contract who has shown reluctance to re-sign with any team that trades for him, three first-round picks seems like a lot, and on the surface, it certainly looks that way.

Outside of already drafted youngsters, first-round picks are the most valuable assets a rebuilding team like the Raptors can have, and nabbing three of them for a player with one foot out the door is good value. However, context matters here.

For one, the picks Indiana is given Toronto will, barring some tumultuous event, most likely be in the mid-20s. Currently, Indiana's 2024 pick given to Toronto is projected to be the 19th pick, which will most likely go down after Siakam nabs some extra wins for the Pacers.

In addition, the "worst of" pick Toronto also received is currently projected to be in spot 27 (ironically, the same place Siakam was drafted). With this being said, it is completely understandable why Indiana would give up these picks that they would have otherwise traded or used to fill up their G-League roster for a chance at keeping an All-NBA level player long-term.

The third pick Toronto got for Siakam is Indiana's own 2026 first, which may be even less valuable than their current first at this rate. In 2026, Siakam will be on the second year of his hypothetical new contract, Haliburton will be 26 and not even in his prime yet, Myles Turner will be 30, most likely in the middle or tail end of his prime, Bennedict Mathurin will be 24, and Jarace Walker will be 23 years old and most likely a rotation player.

Indiana could possibly hit its peak in 2026 when the pick is conveyed, and by that time, it may very well be in the late-20s as well. To summarize, these picks will not convey too much of note for the Pacers, and they are better off with a rebuilding team like Toronto.

To further make a point, Indiana's last few draft picks, with the exception of Mathurin and Walker, consisted of Chris Duarte (who lasted two seasons in Indiana before being shipped off), Goga Bitadze (never really panned out and was traded for scraps), Aaron Holiday (wasn't given a chance to shine in Indiana and is now in Houston), and TJ Leaf (notoriously one of the worst draft picks in Pacers history).

It's pretty safe to say Indiana did not need those picks and is far better off taking a gamble on a player as good as Siakam.