The Indiana Pacers got their man in securing Pascal Siakam from the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, thus ending the Golden State Warriors' chances of acquiring the two-time All-Star before the February 8 trade deadline.
Siakam had long been seen as the Warriors' most realistic path towards trading for a multi-time All-Star. Golden State continue to sink at 12th in the Western Conference with an 18-22 record, though that's the furthest thing from their mind given the sudden loss of beloved assistant coach Dejan Milojevic.
Pascal Siakam's disinterest in remaining with the Golden State Warriors long-term is another sign of the franchise's recent demise
The Warriors' reported interest in Siakam had grown over the past fortnight, particularly after the Raptors had previously moved O.G. Anunoby to the New York Knicks on December 30.
Alas, Indiana's offer of Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora and three first-round picks, along with New Orleans Pelicans' guard Kira Lewis Jr., was enough to sway Toronto into trading the 2019 NBA champion.
While there's been no confirmation on what Golden State's best offer may have been, it's fair to assume it didn't reach the ball park of three first-rounders. However, the reason for that may be down to Siakam's disinterest in remaining with the franchise beyond this season.
"The Warriors were interested. I don’t think he (Siakam) was excited about anything past this season with them."- Sam Amick
As an unrestricted free agent in the offseason, Siakam held significant leverage on where his trade destination would be. If the 29-year-old wasn't going to verbally commit to a future in the Bay, then the Golden State front office were never going to give up the assets required for Toronto to budge.
There's also the matter of Siakam reportedly wanting nothing less than a max contract, something the Warriors may have been hesitant to commit to themselves. Regardless, Siakam's reported disinterest in Golden State as a long term fit further signals the franchise's recent demise.
The Warriors have long been the envy of the league over the last decade, and not just because of the four championships. Rival fans were up in arms when they signed Kevin Durant in free agency of 2016, and had a similar reaction when they acquired DeMarcus Cousins two years later (though that didn't pan out as well for Golden State).
Sure, they lost Durant in the 2019 offseason, but otherwise they've usually held onto the players they wanted to keep so long as the finances made sense. Could they not have held faith and trust that the environment they've built would be enough for Siakam to re-sign in free agency?
This is what happens with an ageing core, headed by 35-year-old Stephen Curry. As good as the two-time MVP is, could you blame Siakam for preferring a trade to the Pacers to play alongside rising superstar Tyrese Haliburton?
The Warriors are on a downhill slope their struggling to stabilize from. So long as this continues, the ramifications are going to go far beyond the on-court product and will bleed into front office negotiations as well.