3. Pascal Siakam
Now, let’s get grounded in some realism. While a LOT has to go wrong for Antetokounmpo or Embiid to end up on the trade block, not that much really needs to happen for Pascal Siakam to be on a new team.
At this point in time, the Toronto Raptors are the basketball equivalent of a ticking time bomb. They already lost their longtime point guard Fred VanVleet in free agency to the Houston Rockets. If the Raptors start the season under .500, Siakam and OG Anunoby will probably be gone, and a Raptor Rebuild will begin around Scottie Barnes.
Unlike the other two players we’ve talked about so far, the Pelicans may be able to pull off this deal without parting ways with Ingram or Williamson. Getting into the nitty gritty of salary cap stuff is outside of the scope of this article. But some combination of picks, Jordan Hawkins, Dyson Daniels, and Trey Murphy III (plus salary filler), should do the trick on a deal.
On top of that, thanks to Siakam’s defense, passing, shooting, and positional versatility, he’s the perfect kind of player to play next to high-level ball-dominant guys like Williamson and Ingram. It’ll almost be like when he was flanking Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry back in the day.
It may seem like a Siakam trade that doesn’t include Ingram or Williamson would deplete the team’s assets too much. But the team should still be able to keep Herbert Jones, CJ McCollum, and one of Hawkins, Daniels, or Murphy.