5 stars the 76ers could target following Harden trade
4. Pascal Siakam — PF/C (Toronto Raptors)
Like Anunoby, Pascal Siakam is approaching unrestricted free agency next year — a glistening asterisk in a potential trade. Still, a bona fide All-NBA caliber player at the peak of his powers should pique the interest of any team trying to carve out a third cave in the East’s dual dungeon, especially if that team has the capacity to keep him anyway.
Admittedly, the prospect of Siakam with Embiid and Maxey is permeated with an nonnegligible degree of risk. After all, the one-time NBA champion has the kind of skill set archetypal of a first option, the likes of which need a lot of streamlining to effectively become a factor amid a lower dosage.
Siakam is a two-way player who relies on his athleticism and motor to score. His perimeter presence can be so-so, though he can be a heady connector who can carry the offense on his own. Defensively, he is a great disruptor who thrives in switch-heavy schemes (ahem, Nick Nurse) and can legitimately guard all positions.
Sure, Siakam may not present the most seamless fit for the 76ers, but he is a heck of a floor raiser who also has a shot at becoming a scary ceiling-raiser for a Philadelphia team that has only peaked at a second-round appearance in the postseason. His familiarity with Nurse’s mercurial style of coaching, especially on defense, should also come in pretty handy.
Of course, the 76ers run the risk of failing to keep him beyond this year if the trade for him and they will also have to give up on their other targets in free agency next year when they will have a boatload of cap space. If the front office can live with those, then trading for Siakam could be a gamble likely to pay dividends.