Toronto Coach Praises Pascal Siakam’s Professionalism Amid Fan Heartbreak Over Trade

‣ The Toronto Raptors have traded All-Star forward Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers, leaving many fans “heartbroken”.
‣ In return for Siakam, the Raptors received NBA champion Bruce Brown, forward Jordan Nwora, and three first-round picks from Indiana.
‣ Siakam, who was in the final year of his contract with Toronto, is remembered by his former coach and teammates as a dedicated professional and a “great teammate”.

Details

Well, well, well, the Raptors were gearing up for a showdown with the Heat on Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Arena. Just then, fans got the bombshell news – Pascal Siakam was leaving. He’d been traded to Indiana.

The press was there, interviewing the crowd. Most fans? Heartbroken.

Heather Talbot, a fan, was pretty upset about losing the All-Star forward. “I am so sad,” she said. “He can always be counted on to get so many points for us.” Her husband, Terry, was right there with her. “It’s sad. It really is sad, having him for so long. All the rumors about him being traded and he’s been so steady all the way through,” he mumbled, sitting next to her.

All day, the audience had only heard whispers. The Toronto organization was close to finalizing a trade, sending the 29-year-old to the Pacers. Then, just minutes before the game against Miami, boom! The news was confirmed.

The deal? It included receiving NBA champion Bruce Brown, forward Jordan Nwora, and three first-round picks from Indiana. New Orleans played a part too. They gave out guard Kira Lewis, and the Pelicans got a second-round pick that used to be owned by the Pacers.

Another Raptors fan, Donny Phimsavanh from Ontario, was sad but hopeful. “It’s one of those things where it’s a business decision,” he said at the arena. “Seeing him go is heartbreaking. I love Siakam so much and I wish we kept him. It’s hard.”

Kyle Lowry, a Toronto icon and current Heat guard, was sure Pascal would do well in Indianapolis. “Pascal, my beloved one, is one of the most coveted players in our league, he’s one of the most talented players in our league and whatever happens with him he’ll be successful. I’m always going to love him and support him and be happy for him,” he said postgame. He remembers Siakam as a “great teammate” because of his high energy level.

Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic had only good things to say about Siakam. He was always the first to show up in the gym. “Pascal is just a pure basketball junkie. He is the first one to show up in the gym, the last one to leave. He was always coachable, always professional since day one,” he said. “I can only be thankful and grateful for all of his contributions to our team this season.”

Rajakovic knows Pascal’s legacy in Toronto. “But also I have to acknowledge that he spent nine years with this organization, came here as almost a teenager and left quite a legacy behind him. I wish him all the best going forward,” he added.

Siakam, a Cameroon native, was in the final year of his contract in Canada. It pays him almost $38 million this campaign. Now, he’s eligible to sign a new five-year deal that could potentially be worth around $247 million. “He’s a great human being and he’s somebody who just really deeply cares about basketball and wants to do well in basketball,” Darko concluded.

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

Related NBA News