How Important is Pascal Siakam for the Toronto Raptors Moving Forward?

Pascal Siakam shocked the NBA world by being named to the All-NBA Third Team this past season, as many NBA picks for any All-NBA team almost certainly did not have him in there.

Siakam found himself in the trade rumor mill all summer long the last offseason, which indicated at the time that the Raptors were headed towards a rebuild.

However, Spicy P remained in Toronto, as he was able to help lead the Raptors to the playoffs despite the uncertainty surrounding the organization.

Siakam averaged 22.8 points on nearly 50 percent shooting to go along with 8.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game last season, which was by far his best season in the league. With those averages, he should be a great option to hit the over in NBA picks and parlays.

With the Raptors now trending upwards, it appears unlikely they’ll trade Siakam any time soon, especially given the impact he has both on the team and the city of Toronto.

Siakam has been rumored to be a potential piece headed to the Brooklyn Nets in a deal that would ship Kevin Durant north of the border, but the Nets are highly unlikely to pull off such a move without Scottie Barnes headlining the package going the other way.

With that said, Siakam remains a very important part of the future for the Raptors, as it’s his ability to score in a multitude of ways, facilitate the ball and defend multiple positions that makes him such a valuable guy to have around your team.

In addition, it’s his humility and team-first mindset that make him even more valuable.

The Raptors famously won their first championship in franchise history in 2019, as Kawhi Leonard came through for a season and led a team full of talented players all the way in the playoffs.

Siakam was instrumental during that run, as it was his physicality and defensive instincts that helped shut Giannis Antetokounmpo down against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

With the Raptors appearing to have a future star on their hands in Barnes, Siakam would become the perfect complement out on the wings next to him to help take significant pressure off of him on both sides of the ball. 

A lot of NBA picks today suggest that it’s a wings league, as potential future Raptor Kevin Durant famously stated recently. In order to compete among the NBA’s elite, you’re going to need defenders who can take on the challenge of guarding those wings.

Siakam’s lateral movement and physicality make him a perfect match in those scenarios.

Additionally, Siakam has the playmaking instincts of a point guard, with his ability to kick it out to the wings on drives to the rim or shovel it inside to his teammate cutting to the rim.

It’s extremely valuable to have a wing or big that can be a facilitator for their teammates, as they are generally the types of players that will attract double teams.

It’s no accident that SIakam landed on an All-NBA team, especially when you consider just how deep in talent the wing positions are in today’s game.

With Barnes, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr. all rounding out the future core of the Raptors alongside Siakam, this team could potentially be competing for multiple championships this entire decade even if KD never ends up walking through that door.

This team has all of the pieces in play to be dominant for now and the future. They just need to trust the process and perhaps avoid the temptation of breaking it all up for one superstar.

There are several examples of teams blowing it up for a superstar only for it to come back and haunt them down the road.

The best teams tend to win based on continuity and development, alongside the talent of course, which Siakam has plenty of.

Still being just 28 years old, SIakam still has a lot of time left to make his mark not only in Raptors franchise history but in the game of basketball.

Featured Image Credit: Wikipedia