Pascal Siakam is the new face of the Toronto Raptors after he signed a long term extension that will see him earn $130 million dollars.
Pascal Siakam is the Future of the Raptors
Fans in Toronto have known all season that Pascal Siakam is the future of the franchise. Today the franchise confirmed that belief by signing him to a four year $130-million-dollar contract. What might surprise many people is that Siakam is the third player from the 2016 to sign a max extension.
The other two players, Jamaal Murray and Ben Simmons, have been blue chip players since they were in high school. Simmons was a star at LSU while Murray was the best player at Kentucky during his time there. Siakam’s NBA journey started very late compared to those two and it’s a testament to his hard work that he has been able to enjoy so much success in such a short period of time.
Siakam Needs to Take that Next Step
One thing the Raptors franchise knows about Pascal Siakam is that he is a hard worker. The young man from Cameroon is extremely humble and hard working. The son of a minister, Siakam was on that path himself before he chose to devote his life to basketball. To say he is well grounded is an understatement and that’s how he has made to where he is. Shortly after the Raptors lifted the Larry O’Brian trophy, there was Siakam back in the gym working on his game.
He knew that with Kawhi gone, this is his team now. He also knows as the defending NBA champs, the eyes of the basketball world will be on this team does without Kawhi. A lot of doubters expect them to fail but the truth is, there is enough talent on this roster for the Toronto Raptors to make the playoffs in the East. A few teams in the conference have improved but the defensive core alone of this team makes them no less than top eight. If Pascal takes another leap like the one that saw him named NBA Most Improved player this season, then the Raptors have top four potential in the East.
The Raptors Season Could Go in Many Different Directions
It’s hard to predict how this team will do this year. The Raptors ceiling as a team is directly tied to Pascal Siakam’s ceiling as a player. He is still far from being in his prime but he will have to be better than last season. In the playoffs he was good overall but there were times when he completely adisappeared.
Then there’s Game 1 of the Finals where he looks like an All Star. Things like that are what gives the Raptors hope that he is indeed this team’s future. If you can drop 30 in your first NBA Finals game, it’s because you have talent. He showed over the course of an 82 game season last year that he was a borderline All Star. If the Raptors hope to make a playoff run this season, they will need their new franchise player to be an All Star this year.