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Toronto Raptors trade Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers

The Toronto Raptors have traded Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers for Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora, and three first-round draft picks.

Siakam is in the final year of his contract and was involved in trade rumours all season long. He is the second key Raptors player to be traded after OG Anunoby was dealt to the New York Knicks for RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley.

The New Orleans Pelicans were involved in the deal to make salaries work. They dealt Kira Lewis Jr. - a 22-year-old guard - to the Raptors and sent a second-round pick to the Pacers.

The Raptors are now +30000 to win the NBA Championship this season, the eighth-longest odds.

Siakam, a 6-foot-9 forward, lands with the Pacers, who sit in sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 23-15 record. He leaves the Raptors, who are 15-25 and 12th in the East.

Siakam leaves the Raptors as their leading scorer at 22.2 points per game, and in return for him, Toronto will bring in Brown and Nwora. 

Brown won the NBA Championship last season with the Denver Nuggets before signing a two-year deal with the Pacers, and the 27-year-old brings solid defense and versatility to the young Raptors.

In 33 games played in his sixth NBA season, Brown averages 12.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assists.

Nwora has been a reserve player for most of his career and will likely battle with Gary Trent Jr., Gradey Dick, and Otto Porter Jr. for minutes at the back of the bench rotation.

With Siakam gone, a space opens up in the starting lineup. 

Coach Darko Rajakovic could bring Dennis Schroeder back into the fold after moving the guard to the bench due to the acquisitions of Barrett and Quickley, which would put Brown on the bench. Or, Rajakovic could start Brown in Siakam's place, adding defensive versatility and athleticism but sacrificing scoring.

Regardless, trading away leading scorer Siakam puts a greater scoring burden on younger players who will now be seen as the foundation for the Raptors' future: 22-year-old Scottie Barnes, 23-year-old Barrett, and 24-year-old Quickley.

Toronto team president Masai Ujiri will also be thrilled with the haul of three first-round draft picks for a player on an expiring deal. Those selections can either be used to fill out the roster in future drafts, or can be traded for players Ujiri and Rajakovic want.

Odds mentioned in this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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