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Sports What does Raptors’ Pascal Siakam have to do to take another leap?

22:45  25 october  2019
22:45  25 october  2019 Source:   sportsnet.ca

The case for and against Raptors offering Pascal Siakam an extension

  The case for and against Raptors offering Pascal Siakam an extension With the deadline for an extension looming, here are the cases for and against the Toronto Raptors offering Pascal Siakam a contract extension. The post Fitzpatrick leads as Molinari misses cut at Italian Open appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.Oct. 21 is the deadline for teams to reach an agreement on a contract extension with their players, and in the Raptors’ case, the most intriguing candidate likely to get a new deal is Pascal Siakam.

a basketball player jumping up to catch a ball: Pascal-Siakam1© Provided by Rogers Media Inc Pascal-Siakam1

Coming hot out of the gates with a season-opening line of 34 points, 18 rebounds and five assists, Pascal Siakam looked poised to become the Toronto Raptors’ No. 1 option this season.

But while the first audition as “the guy” went off without much of a hitch – the only negatives being that he fouled out and was an inefficient 11-for-26 from the field – the question still remains: What does Siakam have to do to take that leap and become the Raptors’ definitive No. 1 option?

On the first episode of Free Association this season, Sportsnet’s Raptors and NBA podcast, hosts JD Bunkis and Donnovan Bennett discussed the matter.

Pascal Siakam won’t sneak up on anyone this season, but the Raptors still need more from him

  Pascal Siakam won’t sneak up on anyone this season, but the Raptors still need more from him It would be unfair of the Toronto Raptors to expect Pascal Siakam to make the same astounding leap in his game this season as he did a year ago. He went from bit player and backup to the NBA’s most improved player and a bona fide all-star-level talent in one exceptional season. Expecting a jump such as that in back-to-back years is unreasonable. But they do need him to be at least a bit better, in every aspect across the board, and the 25-year-old is going to get every chance to do it.Losing Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green puts a huge dent in Toronto’s offence — they averaged nearly 37 points a game in 2018-19 — and someone has to pick up the slack.

“I think the next step is the toughest one to take,” Bennett began. “It’s not just about improving your shot or your handle or your understanding of the game. It’s taking the fact that, on the scouting report now, 82 nights a year your name is first, it’s in bold, and when you watch tape, you’re red-dot guy, you’re the guy who people are gonna take out the laser-pointer and circle. And he’s never had that.”

To Bennett’s point, Siakam is in his fourth NBA season and has never been counted on to be a go-to guy – let alone a max player — with stars such as Kawhi Leonard, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry around him.

“He’s always been a role player, he’s always been someone who would out-work you and out-run you down the floor. That’s where he got his points and his value,” Bennett continued. “Now he’s being asked to create for himself and others in the half-court, to be able to accept the double team – recognize where it comes and where it’s coming for him so he can create the correct pass. That’s an entirely different thing than what he was being asked.

Report: Siakam extension 'almost a certainty'

  Report: Siakam extension 'almost a certainty' The Toronto Raptors appear to be on the verge of locking up a key part of their future. Pascal Siakam and the club have until Monday to agree on a rookie-scale extension and "it's almost a certainty" that they'll come to terms before that, according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. However, it'll take a maximum contract offer to secure Siakam's signature, league sources told Haynes. The 27th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft is eligible to receive a five-year, $170-million deal from Toronto, whereas other teams can extend a maximum offer of four years and $130 million.

“So if you’re saying, ‘Well, he averaged 4.2 points [in his rookie season] and then 7.3 and then 16.9, then based by that math he’ll just keep going up and up and up,’ but it’s different. And I think that’s the biggest adjustment.”

Bunkis agreed with Bennett’s assessment of Siakam, but narrowed in on a few specifics.

“I don’t expect him to be 34, 18 and five every night, but I don’t really know what the ceiling is from a scoring, rebounding and assists standpoint if he’s gonna have the ball and a usage rate as high as we saw in Game 1,” Bunkis said. “For me, it’s two things: It’s the above-the-break shooting and the ability to have some semblance of a variety of his offence rather than just get to the basket, and then being able to do that consistently. If he can pull those two things off I don’t even know what to say the ceiling is.”

Bunkis, also one of the hosts of Good Show on Sportsnet 590 the FAN, highlighted an intriguing discussion he had with Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck in regard to what Siakam’s potential might actually be.

AP source: Raptors, Siakam agree on 4-year max extension

  AP source: Raptors, Siakam agree on 4-year max extension Pascal Siakam is officially a major part of the Toronto Raptors' long-term plans. The Raptors and Siakam have agreed on a four-year, $130 million maximum extension, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the signing has not been publicly announced. The Raptors and Siakam have agreed on a four-year, $130 million maximum extension, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the signing has not been publicly announced.

“We had Howard Beck on Good Show the other day and when I asked him who (Siakam) reminds him of he said, ‘Shades of Kevin Garnett,’” Bunkis said. “I don’t think he’ll ever be KG good, but can he be 80 per cent? Eighty-five per cent? What is the ceiling for him? To me there’s nothing more exciting about this season than seeing what Pascal Siakam can become.”

If Siakam can become even 80 per cent of a surefire future Hall-of-Famer, the Raptors will be in good hands.

You can check out the entire episode of Free Association in the video above, where Bunkis and Bennett also discuss who Toronto’s No. 2 option is, whether the New Orleans Pelicans should be concerned for their future over Zion Williamson’s injury and if LeBron James is even a top-three player in the state of California anymore.

For this one and more great podcasts from Sportsnet head to Sportsnet.ca/Podcasts to listen and subscribe for free.

Lowry, Siakam lead Raptors over Kings 124-120 to stay undefeated at home .
Kyle Lowry had 24 points, Pascal Siakam had 23 points and 12 rebounds, and the Toronto Raptors held off a late Sacramento surge to defeat the Kings 124-120 on Wednesday.Serge Ibaka had 21 points — 10 in the fourth quarter alone — for the Raptors (5-2), who remained perfect at home (4-0). OG Anunoby added 18 and Marc Gasol and Fred VanVleet chipped in with 12 points apiece.

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