Charania’s Latest: Siakam, Bulls, Tucker, Vincent, Morant, Grizzlies

Rival teams believe Pascal Siakam is the most likely player to be traded if the Raptors decide to break up their core, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Charania identifies the Hawks, Kings and Pacers as “expected suitors” for either Siakam or OG Anunoby. Atlanta had “intense conversations” with Toronto during the offseason about a potential Siakam deal, and Sacramento and Indiana have both reached out to the Raptors about his availability over the past year, according to Charania. However, he adds that the Kings are becoming more confident that they can develop into a contender with their current roster and may be less likely to pursue a major trade.

Both players are headed toward free agency next summer, with Siakam on a $37.9MM expiring contract and Anunoby holding a $19.9MM player option for 2024/25 that he’s virtually certain to decline. Toronto’s front office might be more aggressive about seeking a trade after losing free agent Fred VanVleet this offseason, but a rival executive tells Charania to expect “a game of chicken” from the Raptors all the way to the deadline.

Charania offers an inside look at several other teams:

  • The Bulls have won four straight games without Zach LaVine, but his injury setback is expected to slow down any progress toward a trade. Charania identifies the Lakers and Sixers as potential destinations, but adds that both teams are being patient while considering their options. Several teams have called about Alex Caruso, league sources tell Charania, but Chicago’s front office has no interest in moving him.
  • P.J. Tucker is unhappy with his current situation, and the Clippers are working with him to resolve it, either by giving him a larger role or moving him elsewhere, according to Charania. Tucker, who came to L.A. in the James Harden trade, hasn’t played since November 27 and is mainly serving as a mentor to the team’s younger players. Charania hears that multiple contenders are keeping an eye on Tucker’s potential availability.
  • The Lakers could have Gabe Vincent back on the court by next Monday, sources tell Charania. After signing as a free agent this summer, Vincent has been dealing with a left knee effusion that has limited him to four games.
  • Grizzlies guard Ja Morant “looks good” as he prepares to return from his suspension, according to Charania’s sources. Commissioner Adam Silver said over the weekend that Morant “has complied with everything he’s been asked to do.” He could be cleared to return as early as December 19 for a game at New Orleans.
  • The Grizzlies will have to remove someone from their roster when Morant is reinstated, and they would prefer to keep veteran center Bismack Biyombo, according to Charania. Memphis signed Biyombo to a one-year, $5MM contract after an injury sidelined Steven Adams for the season, and he has been a capable fill-in, averaging 6.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.25 blocks in 15 games. Sources tell Charania that Memphis has been active in trade talks around the league involving other players on its roster.
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