Kira Lewis

How Starter Criteria Will Impact QOs For Potential 2024 RFAs

As we outlined in a glossary entry earlier today, the value of a qualifying offer for a player eligible for restricted free agency can increase or decrease depending on whether or not he meets the “starter criteria.”

A player who is eligible for restricted free agency is considered to have met the starter criteria if he plays at least 2,000 minutes or starts 41 games in the season before he reaches free agency — or if he averages either of those marks in the two seasons prior to his restricted free agency.

In many cases, the difference in the qualifying offer amounts is negligible. For instance, since the Sixers will almost certainly sign Tyrese Maxey to a long-term, maximum-salary contract this summer, it doesn’t really matter that he has bumped the value of his qualifying offer a little by meeting the starter criteria.

But in other cases, the adjusted qualifying offer amount could have a real impact on how a player’s free agency plays out by making his team more or less likely to actually issue the QO — and by making the player more or less likely to accept it.

Here are the players whose projected qualifying offers will change as a result of the starter criteria this season:

Players drafted between Nos. 10 and 30 who met the starter criteria:

Bey, Maxey, and Quickley would have had qualifying offers worth $6,498,258, $6,259,588, and $6,128,004, respectively, if they had fallen short of the starter criteria. Instead, their QOs will each be worth $8,486,620.

As noted above, the QO change won’t have any effect on Maxey’s free agency. It’s unlikely to affect Quickley either, since the Raptors will be looking to sign him to a multiyear deal. But it could make a difference for Bey, who tore his ACL last month to bring an up-and-down season to an early end.

A healthy Bey would probably be a safe bet to to get his qualifying offer despite a disappointing season, but ACL recoveries are lengthy processes. If Bey isn’t going to play much – or at all – next season, will the Hawks want to risk him accepting a one-year qualifying offer worth $8.5MM that would set him up to become an unrestricted free agent in 2025?

That QO decision will likely depend on whether or not the Hawks envision Bey as part of their long-term future and whether they expect to reach a multiyear agreement with him.

Second-round picks or undrafted free agents who met the starter criteria:

An experienced veteran who will turn 29 later this year, Fontecchio spent the first part of his career playing in Europe and has just two years of NBA experience, so he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer. His qualifying offer got bumped from $3,806,090 to $5,216,324 when he met the starter criteria.

Fontecchio has been a bright spot in Detroit, averaging 15.4 points per game with a .426 3PT% in 16 games as a Piston. Based on those numbers – and his solid first-half play in Utah – the Italian wing is probably in line for a salary exceeding $5.2MM, which means the QO bump shouldn’t be a difference-maker.

Top-14 picks who won’t meet the starter criteria:

As a former No. 2 overall pick, Wiseman would have been in line for a qualifying offer worth $15,815,870 if he had made at least 41 starts or played 2,000 minutes. Because he fell short, his actual QO will be worth less than half that ($7,744,600).

Wiseman hasn’t shown a whole lot in Detroit, averaging just 6.9 points and 5.0 rebounds in 16.6 minutes per game this season across 59 appearances. But the Pistons will have a ton of cap room this offseason — maybe they’d be comfortable bringing back Wiseman for one more year and trying again to unlock his full potential if the price is just $7.7MM instead of $15.8MM. I’m still skeptical he’ll get that qualifying offer, but it’ll at least be a tougher decision now.

Toppin’s qualifying offer, meanwhile, will drop from $9,170,460 to $7,744,600, but I think the Pacers would have extended it either way. The former No. 8 overall pick has had his best season in 2023/24 as a reserve in Indiana, establishing new career highs in points per game (10.1), field goal percentage (57.2%), and three-point percentage (40.3%), among other categories.

The qualifying offer change for Lewis is marginal — his QO will dip by less than $200K from $7,913,687. He’s unlikely to receive it either way.

It’s worth noting that three other top-14 picks from the 2020 draft met the starter criteria this season. The qualifying offers for Bulls forward Patrick Williams and Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro will remain at $12,973,527 and $11,828,974, respectively. Those aren’t cheap, but I’d still be a little surprised if either team decides to pass on the QO.

Former Pistons guard Killian Hayes also met the starter criteria, but was later waived, so he won’t get a qualifying offer this June. If he had remained under contract and was eligible to receive one, it would have been worth $9,942,114.

Raptors Acquire Olynyk, Agbaji From Jazz For 2024 First-Round Pick

2:52pm: The trade is official, the Raptors and Jazz announced in a pair of press releases.


9:38am: The Jazz have agreed to trade center Kelly Olynyk and wing Ochai Agbaji to the Raptors, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). According to Wojnarowski, Utah will receive Kira Lewis, Otto Porter, and a 2024 first-round pick from Toronto in the deal.

That 2024 first-rounder will be the least favorable of the Thunder’s, Clippers’, Rockets’, and Jazz’s picks, per Wojnarowski (Twitter link), so it figures to land near the end of the first round. Utah’s pick is top-10 protected, meaning there’s a scenario in which the Jazz end up hanging onto their own first-rounder and receive a separate pick (likely OKC’s or L.A.’s) as a result of this deal.

While it’s a little surprising to see a lottery-bound team like the Raptors surrender a first-round pick, the deal will net them a solid big man in Olynyk and a promising young prospect in Agbaji, who was the 14th overall pick in the 2022 draft.

Assuming the Raptors intend to hang onto Olynyk, the Toronto native will become the ninth Canadian to play for the franchise and will provide some depth in a frontcourt that’s relatively thin behind Jakob Poeltl. A forward/center who can stretch the floor, Olynyk is averaging 8.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and a career-high 4.4 assists in 20.4 minutes per game across 50 appearances this season. The 32-year-old has made 42.9% of his three-pointers, boosting his career rate to 37.0%.

Olynyk is on an expiring contract, but the Raptors will control his Bird rights this offseason, giving them the ability to go over the cap to re-sign him or to figure out a sign-and-trade.

As for Agbaji, the young wing hasn’t shown much offensive game since entering the league last season, but is a solid defender who still has room to grow and is under contract through 2026. The Raptors have liked Agbaji for a while, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca, and presumably view him as the type of player who can develop alongside the team’s young core of Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley, and RJ Barrett.

The Jazz and Raptors had reportedly been discussing a similar deal that would have included Bruce Brown – rather than a first-round pick – going to Utah. However, Toronto controlled an excess of picks in a 2024 draft that the club isn’t believed to be especially high on, while the Jazz are at risk of losing their own ’24 first-round selection, so the inclusion of the low first-rounder makes some sense.

The Raptors still own the Pacers’ first-round pick and the Pistons’ second-round pick in 2024, and would hang onto their own first-rounder if it ends up in the top six.

Lewis’ salary couldn’t be aggregated in a trade after being acquired from Indiana last month, but that won’t be necessary, since Porter’s $6.3MM cap hit is enough on its own to match Olynyk’s $12.2MM incoming salary, while Lewis’ $5.7MM salary will be used to match Agbaji’s $4.1MM cap hit.

It remains to be seen whether the Jazz will hang onto Lewis and/or Porter for the rest of the season. Lewis is a former lottery pick and Porter has had some strong seasons as a three-and-D wing, but both players have battled injuries in recent years and haven’t played much outside of garbage time in 2023/24.

Raptors Notes: Boucher, Brown, Trade Deadline, Temple

Chris Boucher has fallen out of the Raptors rotation and he’d be “cool” with a change of scenery, he told Michael Grange of Sportnet.

“I mean, everything has to end, right? So if that’s what’s gonna happen, then cool,” Boucher said. “Hopefully it will [put me] in a better position. But … you never know what could happen. With what’s been going on this year, obviously, I just got to wait my turn, I guess. If a better situation shows up and they decide to send me somewhere else, so be it.”

Boucher has another year left on his contract. Bruce Brown, recently acquired from Indiana, is more likely to be moved. He’s trying to ignore the trade rumors.

“Not even thinking about it, to be honest,” Brown said. “I’m just trying to control what I can control, and I can’t control that end of it.”

We have more on the Raptors:

  • Speaking of the trade deadline, Blake Murphy of Sportnet believes Brown is the player most likely to be dealt. He speculates that Toronto would take a decent second round pick to shed Boucher’s contract. Murphy also evaluates the potential market for Dennis Schröder, Gary Trent Jr, Otto Porter Jr. and Thaddeus Young.
  • Eric Koreen of The Athletic argues the Raptors should take whatever they can get for the above-mentioned players, as well as Kira Lewis Jr, Jalen McDaniels and Garrett Temple.
  • In a separate story, Koreen emphasizes the need for the organization to avoid a lengthy rebuild and developing a loser’s mentality.
  • Temple would like to keep playing beyond this year but knows that at age 37, he may have difficulty getting another contract. “I know people around the team understand how important veterans are, and I think teams (across the league) do honestly. But at the end of the day, it’s still a numbers game, and I learned that part of the business in my first year,” he told Grange.

Raptors Notes: Poeltl, Deadline Primer, Trade Tiers, Quickley

Raptors center Jakob Poeltl was able to go through portions of Wednesday’s practice but he still hasn’t been cleared for contact work, tweets Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca. Head coach Darko Rajakovic said Poeltl is working on his conditioning after being out since January 7 with a left ankle sprain, and the Austrian big man is considered day-to-day.

Toronto reacquired Poeltl last February, when the team sent out its 2024 first-round pick (top-six protected) to San Antonio. Poeltl, who has averaged 10.6 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 2.5 APG and 1.4 BPG in 36 games this season, re-signed with the Raptors on a four-year, $78MM deal last summer.

The roster looks a lot different now than it did last year, with veterans Fred VanVleet (signed with Houston in free agency), OG Anunoby (traded to New York) and Pascal Siakam (traded to Indiana) all on new teams. Poeltl said it was difficult to see Siakam go, according to Lewenberg (Twitter link).

“It was tough because he was the guy I was closest to on this team,” Poeltl said of Siakam. “… I guess I was mentally prepared for it a little bit already because there were so many rumors… but it’s still really sad for me to basically lose my best friend on the team.”

With Toronto now focused on developing its young players rather than competing for a playoff spot, Lewenberg asked Poeltl if the team’s change of direction made him question the decision to re-sign or ponder his future with the Raptors (Twitter link).

Not necessarily,” Poeltl said. “The only thing that was important to me is that I was on a team that could play competitive basketball. As long as it’s not a team that was really actively trying to tank, I guess, was the thing for me. Like, I want to play on a team that’s trying to win every night.

So, for me, even though had some changes and we lost some really good players, I think we’re still on a course where we’re trying to build around this team right now and were not hunting for a No. 1 draft pick, you know what I mean? So as long as that’s the case, I think I’m going to be happy here and I’m hoping to contribute to this new Raptors team, this new project that we’re starting.”

Here’s more on the Raptors, who are currently 16-28 after dropping seven of their past eight games:

  • On a related topic, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca wonders if fans should be cheering for the Raptors to lose for the remainder of 2023/24 in order to keep their first-round pick. As previously mentioned, Toronto will only keep the pick if it lands in the top six of the upcoming draft; in that scenario, the Spurs would be owed the Raptors’ 2025 first-rounder, with the same top-six protection. On the other hand, Grange notes that the 2025 draft is viewed by scouts and executives as having more top-end talent compared to 2024; the No. 7 or No. 8 pick in ’25 could be end up being quite a bit more valuable than a top-six pick this year.
  • Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca recently released a trade deadline primer that covers Toronto’s cap situation, draft assets, player assets, exceptions, restrictions (newly acquired players can’t be aggregated with other salaries), and more.
  • The only “untouchable” player on Toronto’s roster is Scottie Barnes, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic, who believes the third-year forward will sign a rookie scale max extension this summer. Koreen also thinks “it would be aggressively weird” if RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley, Gradey Dick, Jordan Nwora or Kira Lewis were traded. Veterans like Bruce Brown, Gary Trent Jr., Dennis Schröder, Chris Boucher and Poeltl fall into Koreen’s “Selling with hopes of a return” trade tier, though he doesn’t think Poeltl will actually be moved.
  • Starting guard Quickley has been ruled out for Friday’s contest with the Clippers due to a thigh bruise, Murphy tweets. Quickley, acquired from New York in the Anunoby deal, is averaging 16.7 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 6.1 APG through 12 games (31.8 MPG) as a Raptor. The 24-year-old will be traveling on the upcoming six-game road trip, per Doug Smith of The Toronto Star (Twitter link), which suggests it may be a short-term injury.

Raptors Notes: Brown, Rebuilding, Barrett, Quickley, Boucher

Bruce Brown‘s life has been a whirlwind over the past week and it might not slow down for a while, writes Michael Grange of Sportsnet. After picking up his championship ring January 14 in Denver, Brown arrived at Pacers’ practice on Wednesday and learned he had been traded to Toronto. He took his physical a day later and played that night. On Friday, he was on a plane with his new teammates for Saturday’s game in New York.

Brown may be on the move again, as he’s still a popular trade target ahead of the February 8 deadline. He told Grange that he expected to remain with Indiana all season, but he knew the contract he signed last summer, which includes a $23MM team option for 2024/25, made him a candidate to be dealt.

“Did I think I was gonna be [in Indiana] the whole year? Yes,” Brown said. “But obviously, the second year is a team option. But signing the deal I knew it was going to be maybe I stay, maybe they get off the deal. I knew at some point, something would happen. But when the season started I knew something would happen just because of how good [the Pacers] were doing and how they’re trying to maximize [Tyrese Haliburton’s] time there. I was told they weren’t trying to move me, but I was a big part of the deal [for Pascal Siakam], so …”

There’s more from Toronto:

  • The Raptors will need to be patient after trading Siakam for what amounts to future assets, observes Blake Murphy of Sportsnet. While Brown has immediate value, there’s no guarantee he’ll be with the organization past the deadline. Jordan Nwora and Kira Lewis provide bench depth, but they’re both young and will need consistent minutes to develop into reliable players. Murphy adds that while the organization isn’t embarking on a traditional rebuilding process, the 2025/26 season is probably the earliest that it will be playoff relevant again.
  • RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley and OG Anunoby all seem to be in better spots in the wake of last month’s trade with the Knicks, observes Eric Koreen of The Athletic. After the teams met Saturday in New York, Koreen noted that Anunoby’s three-and-D skills fit best on a contender, while Barrett and Quickley can take on a larger role in the offense without having to accommodate Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle.
  • Toronto is exploring trades involving Chris Boucher, who is the last player remaining from the 2019 title team, Murphy said on “The Raptors Show” pocdast (Twitter link from Evan Sidery of Forbes Sports).

Raptors Notes: Brown, Trent, Schröder, Siakam, Barnes, Lewis

After a hectic 30-plus hours that saw him fly from Sacramento to Indiana to Toronto, Bruce Brown was available to make his Raptors debut on Thursday night vs. Chicago, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca (Twitter links).

While newcomers Jordan Nwora and Kira Lewis were also cleared to play, Brown was the only one of the three to see any action and he responded in impressive fashion, scoring 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds off the bench. Toronto lost the game 116-110, but Brown was a +11 in his 25 minutes.

Thursday’s performance showed how Brown could fit on the Raptors’ new-look roster, but it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll finish the season with the club. Exploring that subject on the latest episode of FanDuel’s Run it Back show (YouTube link), Shams Charania of The Athletic suggested that Toronto could probably net a first-round pick or a “boatload” of second-rounders for Brown in a pre-deadline deal, adding that there will be “no shortage of suitors” for the 27-year-old guard/forward.

According to Charania, Brown, Gary Trent Jr., and Dennis Schröder are among the Raptors veterans worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks, since they may not be part of the team’s plans beyond this season and they’d appeal to playoff teams on the trade market.

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • Following his trade to Indiana, longtime Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, who spent the first seven-and-a-half years of his career with the franchise, wrote in The Players’ Tribune about how much his time in Toronto meant to him and why it’s hard to say goodbye.
  • As long as Siakam was on the roster, the Raptors were able to hedge their bet on Scottie Barnes‘ ascent to franchise cornerstone, letting Siakam take the reins while the former Rookie of the Year grew into that role, Lewenberg writes at TSN.ca. Now that Siakam is a Pacer, there will be increased pressure on Barnes to develop into the type of star Toronto envisions, Lewenberg notes. “The goal is to help Scottie improve and get better every single day, every single night as a leader, as a franchise player and to build a roster around him that’s going to help him to grow,” head coach Darko Rajakovic said.
  • Turning the Raptors’ roster from its current state into one capable of contending for a title may be Masai Ujiri‘s biggest challenge since he was hired by the organization, says Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca. The Raptors president acknowledged that he won’t be able to skip steps during the process. “I don’t know if to call this a rebuild or a reset or however we want to put it,” Ujiri said. “But a normal rebuild with other teams takes five [or] six years. Do we have the patience for that? You know? Like do we have the patience for three-to-five years building of our team? Some way, somehow we are going to have to have patience.”
  • After he traded popular Raptor DeMar DeRozan and fired head coach Dwane Casey following a Coach of the Year season, Ujiri earned a reputation for being a cold and calculated decision-maker. However, he hasn’t necessarily operated that way in recent years, according to Eric Koreen of The Athletic, who considers whether the club would benefit from Ujiri being “a little colder” in his roster decisions.
  • The Raptors have assigned the newly acquired Lewis to the G League, tweets Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca. A player with at least three years of NBA service must give his consent to be assigned to the NBAGL, but Lewis approved multiple assignments to the Birmingham Squadron earlier this season in order to get more frequent playing time and it appears he’ll do the same with his new team.

Raptors Trade Pascal Siakam To Pacers, Waive Christian Koloko

The Raptors have traded star forward Pascal Siakam to the Pacers for Bruce Brown, Kira Lewis, Jordan Nwora, two 2024 first-round picks, and a top-four protected 2026 first-rounder, Indiana announced in a press release.

We’re incredibly excited to welcome Pascal to Indiana,” said president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard. “As a two-time All-NBA selection and two-time NBA All Star, Pascal is a player that our organization has long admired and respected. We feel that his unique offensive skillset will complement our style of play, while his defensive versatility will be a valuable asset to our team.”

The Raptors also announced the trade is complete in their own press release.

Pascal is a champion, an integral part of winning teams and an example of what can be achieved with dedication, perseverance, hard work and tenacity,” said Raptors vice chairman and president Masai Ujiri. “We’re lucky to have seen Pascal develop into the man and player that he is today – and we are grateful for everything he has done for our city and for our franchise. We wish him all good things.

This is a time of change for our team, and we welcome Bruce, Jordan and Kira to the Raptors and to Toronto. Bruce is a world champion, and we look forward to his two-way play and added toughness on the court. We continue the work of getting better every day, and continue moving forward in our quest to win here in Toronto.”

The Raptors needed to release a player to complete the deal, and that roster casualty was second-year center Christian Koloko, who has yet to play this season due to a respiratory issue. Assuming he clears waivers, Toronto will be on the hook for Koloko’s full 2023/24 salary, which comes in at $1,719,864. His salary for next season was non-guaranteed.

As a rookie last season, Koloko showed promise as a rim protector, averaging 3.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG and 1.0 BPG in 58 games, including 19 starts (13.8 MPG).

According to Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca (Twitter link), the Raptors are still “very high” on Koloko, but since there’s no timeline for his return to action, he was the odd man out. Murphy wouldn’t be surprised if Toronto signs Koloko to a G League contract or re-signs him to an NBA deal in the future.

Echoing that last point, Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca believes there’s “a good chance” Koloko will remain with the Raptors in some capacity (Twitter link). Grange also hears Koloko has been ramping up his activity lately, but it’s unknown when the Cameroonian big man will be cleared to play again.

As ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets, all four players involved in the deal can be traded again prior to the February 8 deadline but cannot be aggregated with other salaries. The Raptors also created a $10.2MM traded player exception in the deal, per Marks (Twitter link).

The Raptors now have a full 15-man roster, while the Pacers have 13 players on standard deals. Teams aren’t permitted to carry fewer than 14 players on standard contracts for more than 14 days at a time, so Indiana will have two weeks to re-add a 14th man.

For more details on the blockbuster trade, check out our story from earlier in the day, before it became official.

Pelicans Trade Kira Lewis Jr. To Pacers

The Pelicans have traded fourth-year guard Kira Lewis Jr. and a 2024 second-round pick — the least favorable of New Orleans’ and Chicago’s second-rounders — to the Pacers in exchange for cash considerations, the two clubs confirmed in press releases.

Indiana waived James Johnson to create a roster spot for Lewis.

Lewis won’t be staying in Indiana. He’ll be part of the package heading to Toronto in the Pascal Siakam blockbuster. Lewis will be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer if the Raptors give him a qualifying offer.

By trading Lewis’ $5.7MM contract, the Pelicans moved under the luxury tax line — they’d previously been over and have never paid the tax — so it’s a straightforward salary dump from their perspective.

A former lottery pick (13th overall in 2020), the 22-year-old was unable to carve out a regular spot in New Orleans’ rotation over the past two seasons after returning from a torn ACL in 2022/23. He has appeared in just 15 games this season for an average of 9.8 minutes per night.

The Pacers are acquiring Lewis using cap room, which means they’ll be able to immediately aggregate his salary in the Siakam trade. Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora, and three first-round picks will also be sent to the Raptors in that deal.

The Pelicans now have 13 players on standard contracts. Teams aren’t permitted to carry fewer than 14 players on standard deals for more than 14 days at a time, so they’ll have two weeks to re-add a 14th man.

Pacers Finalizing Trade For Pascal Siakam

The Pacers and Raptors are finalizing an agreement on a trade that will send star forward Pascal Siakam to Indiana, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).

The deal, whose framework was previously reported by Shams Charania and Jake Fischer, will send Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora, and three first-round picks to Toronto, according to Wojnarowski. The Pelicans will also be involved, Wojnarowski notes, with fourth-year guard Kira Lewis headed to the Raptors.

Earlier reporting indicated that Indiana would likely include either Jalen Smith or Obi Toppin in their package for salary-matching purposes. However, by acquiring Lewis from New Orleans using their cap room, the Pacers will be able to immediately aggregate his salary with Brown’s and Nwora’s, making him the missing matching piece. As a result, the “three-team” deal will technically consist of two separate trades, ESPN’s Bobby Marks confirms (via Twitter).

The three first-rounders going to Toronto will be the Pacers’ own 2024 pick, a second ’24 first-rounder (via Oklahoma City), and Indiana’s 2026 pick, sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The 2024 pick from OKC will be the least favorable of the Thunder’s, Clippers’, Rockets’, and Jazz’s first-rounders. The 2026 pick will include top-four protection, according to Charania (Twitter link).

In the Pelicans/Pacers swap, New Orleans will receive cash from Indiana and will send a second-round pick to the Pacers, per ESPN’s Andrew Lopez and Wojnarowski (Twitter link). That will be a 2024 selection, tweets Christian Clark of NOLA.com, which means it’ll be the least favorable of the Pelicans’ and Bulls’ second-rounders.

The blockbuster deal is the culmination of several months of trade rumors involving Siakam. He was also at the center of speculation over the 2023 offseason, at which time the Raptors reportedly spoke to the Hawks and others about the two-time All-Star. The Mavericks, Warriors, Pistons, and Kings are among the teams that have been linked to him in recent weeks.

After getting a limited return for Kyle Lowry in a sign-and-trade deal in 2021 and then losing Fred VanVleet for nothing in 2023 free agency, the Raptors were more proactive this season in moving key players on expiring contracts ahead of February’s trade deadline. Toronto sent OG Anunoby and two other players to New York at the end of December in exchange for Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, and a second-round pick.

The Pacers reportedly made an effort to acquire Anunoby before the Knicks landed him, but Siakam had been at the top of their wish list for over six months, tweets Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. While the Raptors were believed to be seeking a return headlined by a young player or two – like the one they got from the Knicks for Anunoby – Indiana was able to get the deal done with a pick-heavy package that didn’t include recent lottery selections Bennedict Mathurin or Jarace Walker.

By virtue of being traded, Siakam will no longer be eligible for a super-max contract in the event he makes an All-NBA team for a third time this season. Additionally, he won’t be able to sign an extension of more than two years with Indiana prior to free agency, since a longer-term extension deal isn’t permitted for six months after the trade.

However, the 29-year-old is excited to join the Pacers and is expected to be “eager” to figure out a new contract with the team this summer, sources tell Wojnarowski (Twitter link). The Pacers will hold his Bird rights, giving them the ability to offer up to five years once he becomes a free agent. They’ll have plenty of financial flexibility to make Siakam a part of the long-term core alongside star point guard Tyrese Haliburton.

“I’m excited that Pascal is getting a first class opportunity with the Pacers, being paired with Tyrese and Myles (Turner) and being coached by a great coach in Rick Carlisle,” Siakam’s agent Todd Ramasar said in a statement to Marc J. Spears of Andscape (Twitter link). “His future there looks bright there.”

The Raptors will now control at least two first-round picks in the 2024 draft, along with an early second-rounder from the Pistons that currently projects to be 31st overall. They traded their own ’24 first-rounder away to the Spurs in last season’s Jakob Poeltl deal, but it has top-six protection, so it’s not a lock to change hands — Toronto’s 15-25 record is tied for the sixth-worst mark in the NBA.

It’s unclear what Toronto’s plans are for Brown, who played an important role on the Nuggets’ championship team last season and could be a popular target for contenders on the trade market in the coming weeks.

Brown is on a pseudo-expiring $22MM contract — he has a $23MM club option for 2024/25, so if he remains a Raptor, the club could create in excess of $30MM in cap room by declining that option, notes Keith Smith of Spotrac (Twitter link). Nwora ($3MM) and Lewis ($5.7MM) are also on expiring deals.

While the Pacers’ 2023/24 team salary will increase beyond the cap once they officially acquire Siakam, the Raptors and Pelicans will gain significant cap relief. After being only slightly under the luxury tax line prior to the trade, Toronto will have about $9MM in breathing room below that threshold, tweets cap expert Yossi Gozlan.

New Orleans, meanwhile, will move from above the tax line to about $2.8MM below it, Gozlan adds (via Twitter). That will give the Pelicans – one of two NBA teams to never pay the tax – more room to operate on the trade market or in free agency in the coming weeks.

The Pacers will have to waive a player in order to acquire Lewis from New Orleans. Veteran forward James Johnson will be that roster casualty, per Tony East of SI.com (Twitter link). The Raptors, who currently have one open spot on their 15-man roster, will also need to make a cut in order to accommodate their three-for-one deal with Indiana.

Both the Pacers and Pelicans will end up with 13 players on standard contracts once the two trades are completed. Teams aren’t permitted to carry fewer than 14 players on standard deals for more than 14 days at a time, so both clubs will have two weeks to re-add a 14th man.

Trade Rumors: Suns, Biggest Needs, Warriors, Lewis, More

Instead of focusing on acquiring a true point guard for their roster, the Suns are more interested in trying to bring in an athletic wing, NBA on TNT’s Chris Haynes said during a broadcast (via Inside The Suns).

A lot of people will point to a point guard, but in talking with the Suns they believe that with Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal, they feel like they need the ball in their hands. They feel like they don’t need another point guard that’s going to take the ball away [from their stars],” Haynes said during the broadcast.

It’s unclear what specific players the Suns are targeting but Haynes expects the market to heat up in the near future, which could provide some clarity.

Obviously around this time of year, this is when things start to get serious,” Haynes said. “Right now teams are posturing — there’s not a whole lot of sellers right now, but I expect things to change over the next week or so. I think things will really get serious.

We have more trade rumors from around the league:

  • Staffers from The Athletic pooled together to break down what all 30 teams in the league should be targeting at the trade deadline. The article mostly focuses on archetypes of players, with Doug Haller agreeing with the notion the Suns need another perimeter defender. Some writers gave specific trade targets for teams, with Andrew Schlect identifying Utah’s Kelly Olynyk and Brooklyn’s Royce O’Neale as two targets who make sense for the Thunder.
  • In the same article, The Athletic’s Anthony Slater writes the Warriors have “poked around” the center market and could dangle Chris Paul‘s expiring salary. Slater also believes Andrew Wiggins is more likely to be traded at the deadline than Jonathan Kuminga.
  • A trade involving Pelicans guard Kira Lewis Jr. to avoid the luxury tax feels “inevitable,” according to The Athletic’s William Guillory. While that’s speculation, it has been obvious for months that such a move makes sense. If the Pelicans do move on from Lewis, they should target shooting in return, Guillory writes. Otherwise, he expects New Orleans to have a relatively quiet deadline unless something changes in the next few weeks.
  • Some recent acquisitions haven’t panned out the way teams may have thought when signing or trading for them, and those teams could look to move said players. The Athletic’s Jay King and Jared Weiss write the Celtics could use another option on the wing since Oshae Brissett hasn’t taken a stranglehold on a rotation spot. Signing Shake Milton hasn’t panned out for the Timberwolves‘ bench, Jon Krawczynski writes, and the team needs more bench scoring as a result. Other recent acquisitions who haven’t quite played up to expectations and could be on the move or supplanted, per The Athletic’s staffers, include the ClippersP.J. Tucker and Jock Landale of the Rockets.
  • The Wizards have a number of players who could appeal to contending teams, according to The Athletic’s Josh Robbins, including Tyus Jones, Delon Wright, Danilo Gallinari and Mike Muscala. Robbins writes the goal in any trade, along with obtaining first-round picks, should be to get young prospects who haven’t been able to crack rotations on other teams.