When the Toronto Raptors won the NBA championship last season, much of the credit went to star players like Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry. Alongside them was Pascal Siakam, whose ability to impact games on both ends of the floor was crucial. He’s a versatile offensive big man who can float out to the perimeter, but his real value comes on defense. He can check anyone in the NBA, and when you pair him next to another strong defender, the Raptors are awfully tough to score on.
While Leonard left for Los Angeles, Siakam is still around, and he’s only 25. He’s the exact kind of player the Raptors can immediately build around as they form a new identity. That means it’s up to President of Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri to get him on a new contract as soon as possible. During the team’s media day on Saturday, Ujiri was asked about any extension talks with Siakam. He confirmed that the two sides have had discussions and sounded pretty confident they will get a deal done eventually.
seems like pascal is gonna be a raptor for a long time. pic.twitter.com/BgY5pgiXZv
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) September 28, 2019
“We’ve had conversations with Pascal’s representation,” Ukiri said. “We’re excited whether it’s going to be this fall or in the summer. He’s somebody we’re definitely going to keep for a long time here.”
Ujiri could very easily let this play out until next offseason and then just offer Siakam a max extension, but why wait? If they can get a deal done before the regular season even starts, that would be fantastic for everybody involved. Siakam is on the verge of being a superstar, and for a team looking for someone to be the face of the franchise now that Leonard is gone, it makes all the sense in the world for the Raptors to keep him around.