Warriors reportedly wanted Pascal Siakam, but long-term interest wasn’t mutual

The Golden State Warriors need to shuffle their roster, but it’s not clear how they intend to do so. They can make a move at the trade deadline or wait until this summer — when Klay Thompson and Chris Paul both come off the books — to take a clearer look at where  and how they can improve. 

One of the players the Warriors were long believed to be interested in trading for was Pascal Siakam — who went to the Pacers from the Raptors in a blockbuster on Wednesday. But according to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the interest, at least long term, was not mutual. 

“The Warriors were interested [in Siakam],” Amick said on The Athletic’s NBA Show podcast. “I don’t think [Siakam] was excited abut anything beyond this season with [the Warriors].”

If this doesn’t tell you how far the Warriors have fallen, nothing will. There was a time when players would have fallen over themselves for a chance to play with Stephen Curry and company. But everyone can see the end is near. 

Siakam had leverage over where he was traded because he’s set to become a free agent this summer. No team was going to give up real assets for a guy who might walk for nothing in a few months. That’s why teams like the Warriors, and Pacers, needed to know whether Siakam was in it for the long haul before moving on him. 

These things aren’t supposed to be discussed, of course. But let’s not play dumb. Of course these things are talked about. The Warriors asked, in one way or another, if Siakam would stay with them beyond this season, and they clearly got their answer. 

It would’ve been impossible to imagine even a few years ago that a player in the prime of his career would choose the Pacers over the Warriors, but it makes sense. Indiana, led by emerging MVP candidate Tyrese Haliburton, is on its way up. Golden State is going the other way, and might be about to bottom out. 

So again, what do the Warriors do now? Siakam would’ve been a nice fit, as he would be pretty much anywhere, but was probably going to be too expensive to get anyway. The Warriors only have two trade-eligible draft picks (2026 and 2028) at the moment, and to even have the 2026 pick they would have to remove the 2024 1-4 protection that is currently on that pick, which is owed to the Blazers. 

Those draft picks, which could well end up in the lottery if/when the Warriors keep trending downward, are almost certainly more valuable than the three picks the Pacers gave up, which will likely land in the 20s as Indiana figures to be a solid playoff team, at least, for years to come. 

But again, those picks are vitally important to the Warriors, who did not maximize the opportunity they had to build a bridge to their next era with three lottery picks in two years, which they spent on James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody. You can only give them up if you are honestly going to bring back a player that significantly moves your needle toward title contention. Siakam is good, but he’s not that good. 

In that way, it might be a blessing that Siakam stiff armed the Warriors, who might’ve been just desperate enough to get in over their heads in the coming weeks. 

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