Scotto’s Latest: Raptors, Pacers, Hawks, Markkanen, Hornets, More

Rival executives believe Pascal Siakam is more likely to be traded than OG Anunoby if the Raptors decide to shake up their roster, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. In fact, teams looking for help on the wing think Toronto “will do whatever it takes” to retain Anunoby as a free agent in 2024 — he’s widely expected to decline his $19.9MM player option for next season.

Scotto reports that top front office executives from the Pacers and Hawks had extensive conversations with Toronto’s brass at the NBA G League’s Winter Showcase in Orlando this week. Both teams have consistently been linked to the Raptors for several months, Scotto notes.

If the Raptors trade Siakam, they’d be looking for young players and draft capital in return, according to Scotto, with the goal of retooling around Scottie Barnes and Anunoby.

To that end, Pacers forward Jarace Walker, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 draft, could be a name to watch in trade talks. He hasn’t played much as a rookie this season, but he’s had some strong performances in the G League. Scotto also hears the Hawks would prefer to keep Jalen Johnson, who was having a breakout third season before sustaining a fractured wrist (he was recently cleared to resume practicing in full).

Here are more rumors and notes from Scotto:

  • Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen has been the subject of some trade speculation this season, but Scotto is the latest reporter to reiterate that the Finnish star is expected to stay put. According to Scotto, there are three reasons for that: Markkanen wants to remain with the Jazz, the cost of acquiring him could be exorbitant, and he could renegotiate and extend his contract in the offseason, which would bypass 2025 free agency. Multiple executives told Scotto the idea of a possible Markkanen trade was “wishful thinking.”
  • There’s a “strong belief” among rival executives that the Hornets will make front office changes “by next season at the latest,” Scotto writes. If president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak is fired or moved to a different role, Nets assistant GM Jeff Peterson and Wizards senior VP of player personnel Travis Schlenk are potential candidates to replace him, league sources tell Scotto. As Scotto writes, both Peterson and Schlenk previously worked with new Charlotte co-owner Rick Schnall in Atlanta.
  • Kings guard Keon Ellis and Cavaliers guard Craig Porter Jr. are among the top candidates to be promoted to standard deals from their current two-way contracts, per Scotto. Cleveland has an open roster spot and wouldn’t necessarily need to release anyone to give Porter a raise (and make him playoff-eligible), while Sacramento has Juan Toscano-Anderson on a non-guaranteed deal.
View Comments (14)