According to a recent report by Shams Charania, an important team-related detail emerged in the fourth paragraph. The report mentioned that there haven’t been any significant talks about extending Pascal Siakam’s contract, as per anonymous sources familiar with the discussions, as reported by The Athletic.
The information in that line indicates that until that point, the Raptors had been exploring alternatives to extending Pascal Siakam’s contract during this offseason. This could involve trade discussions or a willingness to keep Siakam on the roster for the final year of his four-year extension. It suggests that retaining Siakam with the Raptors wasn’t the primary focus this offseason.
While priorities can shift, the fact that Siakam hasn’t been traded suggests that the Raptors might not have found appealing options available to them. Considering Siakam’s achievements, negotiating a potential extension might not be overly complex if they’re leaning towards retaining him.
Siakam’s Salary Breakdown
Given that 140 percent of Siakam’s salary for the next year would exceed the 30 percent of the 2024-25 salary cap that constitutes his maximum salary, his starting figure for an extension becomes apparent. If the next year’s salary cap grows by a maximum of 10 percent compared to the current year, setting the 2024-25 cap at approximately $149.62 million, an extension for Siakam could indicate eligibility for 30 percent of the cap, around $44.89 million with the highest possible cap increase.
Considering 8 percent year-over-year raises that the Raptors can offer, the potential total would be about $202.28 million over four years, or $240.17 million over five, including the upcoming season. Given Siakam’s NBA achievements, he could reasonably request such terms, especially when similar deals have been offered to lesser players.
• 2023-24: 37.89
• 2024-25: 44.89
• 2025-26: 48.48
• 2026-27: 52.36
Breaking down Siakam’s salary in terms of the percentage of the cap provides valuable context. It allows us to understand how his salary fits within the overall team budget. For instance, saying “A 33-year-old Siakam would be making $56.55 million for the Raptors” wouldn’t have the same meaning without this context.
Considering a 33-year-old player without superstar status taking up 28.4 percent of the cap is significant and shouldn’t be overlooked. To put it into perspective, players who had similar percentages of the cap this past season included Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, Kristaps Porziņģis, Jrue Holiday, Ben Simmons, and Siakam himself. These players had cap hits that ranked from 19th to 25th in terms of individual impact on their team’s cap.
Excluding Myles Turner, whose complex contract extension made him an outlier, Simmons exemplifies the potential downside of a high-paying contract where a player contributes minimally. Conversely, Booker showcases the upside when a player surpasses their cap hit. The commitment of such a contract is significant, prompting the question: What are the drawbacks of offering Siakam this deal?
While ways to navigate it exist, Simmons’ situation with the Nets, playing below-average minutes with a hefty contract, is illustrative. Still, it’s important to acknowledge the uniqueness of the 2022-23 Nets. A comparable scenario is Jrue Holiday’s case, where he performed at a borderline All-Star/All-NBA level for the Bucks at age 32, contributing to their success.
However, the downside emerges when considering Siakam’s potential to keep the Raptors in a middle ground. While he might maintain his ranking among the league’s top 15-30 players, his presence at that cost might not elevate the team to championship contention. This becomes more complex given the Raptors’ roster makeup and prospects.
Striking a balance is crucial; they don’t want to lose Siakam for nothing, but also shouldn’t overcommit without a clear path to the top. Signing him to an extension, even if not the absolute maximum, might make sense from a value and risk perspective. Nevertheless, it could still lead to a transitional phase for the franchise.
Urgency is now vital for the Raptors to make a decision and take action given the circumstances.