Report: Kings won’t trade Keegan, reluctant to pay Siakam max contract

Report: Kings won’t trade Keegan, reluctant to pay Siakam max contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Kings swinging a blockbuster deal for Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is currently off the table as the NBA trade deadline looms just mere weeks away.

Not only is Sacramento unwilling to part with talented second-year forward Keegan Murray, who likely would need to be included in any deal for the two-time All-NBA forward, but the Kings also are reluctant to pay Siakam a max contract this summer due to De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis both already accounting for max deals, making any path to retaining the two-time All-Star beyond this season extremely difficult, Sportsnet’s Michael Grange reported Saturday, citing league sources.

Siakam has amassed an impressive résumé during his eight years in the league, serving as a critical cog in Toronto’s 2019 championship run while accumulating multiple All-NBA honors for his ability to impact the game on both ends of the floor.

The dynamic forward is in the final season of a four-year, $136,905,216 contract, adding a significant risk for any team that was to acquire him if they cannot negotiate an extension with Siakam. He stands to earn a substantial raise in the upcoming offseason, where he could ink a deal that could soar over $200 million across four years.

The Raptors star is averaging 22.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and five assists per game during the 2023-24 NBA season, making Siakam one of the most appealing options in the trade market as February’s deadline rapidly approaches.

Aside from the financial ramifications of Sacramento acquiring Siakam, the Kings’ reluctance to include Murray in trade packages throws a wrench into any negotiations involving an All-NBA level talent like Siakam. After being selected No. 4 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, Murray quickly blossomed into one of the most vital pieces of a Kings roster that has rapidly developed into a championship contender.

Sacramento and general manager Monte McNair have made it clear they view the 23-year-old sharpshooter as a franchise cornerstone, and as the Kings’ prized asset in any trade discussions, the young forward’s absence from any potential deal makes it increasingly unlikely the team will be able to swing a trade for a player of Siakam’s caliber.

Murray is averaging 15.6 points per game in his second NBA season and further validated Sacramento’s belief in his role moving forward with an impressive showing in Friday’s 135-130 win over Siakam and the Raptors, where the young forward recorded a double-double while draining all four of his 3-point attempts.

Sacramento isn’t the only team that appears to be uneasy about moving a young centerpiece for Siakam, as Grange also reported Saturday, citing multiple sources, that the Golden State Warriors detest the idea of including forward Jonathan Kuminga in any trade packages for an impact veteran like Siakam.

Between Murray’s impressively rapid ascension into a budding star and the relatively discounted rate his four-year $36,371,093 will account for after dishing out max deals to Fox and Sabonis, it makes sense why Sacramento would be reluctant to deal such an asset for a player that ultimately could be just a rental for the remainder of the 2023-24 season.