A Fan View On How Pascal Siakam Can Become A NBA Superstar

If you love basketball, if you are a Toronto Raptors fan, or if you are both, I strongly recommend watching this video!

From the beginning of the video above, you can hear Masai Ujiri, the President of Basketball Operations for the Raptors, say “Pascal... I will go with my scouts this time." This is the type of trust we all need to have in an organization. It’s a similar type of trust when your parents give you the keys to their car for the first time after you beg them for it and they willingly reply with “have fun, don’t die." There’s a small amount of uncertainty towards the decision but there’s enough willingness to know that the person can be trusted. Four years later, The Raptors can confidently say with their chest that picking Pascal paid off big time (and you know… you didn’t crash the car because you are reading this article right now instead).

“Y’all see the footwork?”

You know, it could have been someone else from this draft, like a complete scrub (such as Ante Zizic, who? exactly) or viable options (such as Dejounte Murray and Malcolm Brogdon), but thankfully we were blessed with a young talent that blossomed into a household name. Pascal Siakam is becoming something special and his ceiling is as far he wants it to go. Let’s move on to how Pascal is making a name for himself in the league and becoming the spiciest of them all.

The Groundwork

Pascal’s rise to being an all-star was far from simple. He had his chances to play in his rookie season (playing 55 games in total), but his true development stemmed from the NBA G League. The Raptors 905 G League team has provided the Raptors with a respectable and ideal situation for players to develop and hone their skills. Honestly, this helped build the championship pedigree that the Raptors are at now, and Siakam was at the forefront of it. Leading the 905 to the championship, Pascal collected the finals MVP of the G League and started the framework to reach his spiciest form.

But I wanted to look into Pascal’s psyche and study closely into why we should pay attention to him. Watching the “Pascal Siakam journey” it is clear to see that Pascal plays for more than himself. Siakam playing in the NBA was a fulfillment of his father’s dream (rest in peace Tchamo Siakam) to have one of his sons play in the NBA. Fueling his passion for the game, Siakam has mentioned numerous times that he is doing all that he can for his father and to honour him by becoming the best basketball player he can be.

Now the self-proclaimed “Chosen One” continues to find ways to inspire himself to do more, bring more heat to his game, and remind himself “you have to go harder.” His family grounds him and his nature allows you to see how committed he is to the game. Music to my biased ears. From the very beginning, Pascal knew he wanted to be great and has taken the right steps to accomplish that goal. But with Pascal saying all of these words, you would want the evidence to back it up right?

“I don’t want to be a role player”

Guide your eyes towards the tweet above. Firstly, Ujiri’s reaction to Siakam’s words made me smile and chuckle. A simple “Okay” was the only thing Ujiri needed to say. Now words carry plenty of weight but they can only take you so far. Actions and results were the only solutions that would show that Siakam was serious about becoming more than a glorified role player for the Raptors. Let’s look at how he is doing so far.

We’ll start with the stats people first. For an in-depth look into Siakam’s stats, you can look at it here: https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/s/siakapa01.html

The main focus I want to look at regarding his stats is the major jumps in points, assists, and rebounds across his four years so far.

This took a lot of work.

Every season, Pascal has not only improved in these departments, but by substantial amounts. Looking at it closely puts into perspective how much he has developed as a player. The jump in points has highlighted how he has become a reliable scorer, the assists show the growth in his ability to read the game and provide for his teammates, and the rebounds increasing every year displays his willingness to go after the ball once a shot is missed. After all, board man gets paid.

The improvements in his game have been drastic and you can see the differences in his play every season. Before our eyes, he has adapted and evolved, and the beauty of all of this is that it has only been four years. FOUR YEARS? It puts a smile on your face when you can see the upside of it all for Siakam (unless you are a hater). It’s almost as if he started with one spice and is slowly adding in all of the other necessary spices to make the full meal taste as good as it can be. The main course meal is far from ready but the appetizers we’ve had so far have been nothing short of sweet and spicy.

The Visual Representation

“Y’all see the skills?”

We move into his breakout performances and accolades that he has collected over the years. Firstly, Siakam is the reigning Most Improved Player in the NBA. Many basketball fans saw this coming, with a huge increase in his production as a player in 2018/2019 and his impactful contributions as the viable co-star with Kawhi Leonard to help win the NBA championship in 2018/2019. That’s right, Pascal is also an NBA champion, tasting success early on his career and showing him how much it takes to reach the top of the NBA mountain.

Game 1 of the Finals last year, Siakam delivered 32 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks, showing how far he has come. Playing with a guy like Kawhi was honestly the best thing for Pascal. Having a superstar such as Kawhi with you for a season, you may, you know, pick up one or two valuable things. His habits, his preparation, how he scores, understanding how to be the main guy on a team — this gave Siakam an early taste of what it takes to be more than a role player. And when the Raptors needed Pascal to step up for their finals run, you better believe he was right there when called upon.

Kawhi’s exit left a daunting question for the Raptors organization: “Who is their franchise player?” with doubt lurking from many NBA fans. But Pascal took it upon himself to say I’m THAT guy. He would have to carry a heavier load, offer more production, and become the number 1 option and flourish. And this season, he has certainly come to play. Watch here for the visual representation of Pascal delivering fiery and seasoned performances so far this season.

Where Does Pascal Go From Here?

“Y’all see the CHAMPIONSHIP?”

It’s exciting to see what will come from Pascal. If we look at his game right now, there are plenty of positives to look at. A healthy mix of old school basketball moves with a unique blend of the modern NBA play, he’s got the skills to pay the bills.

Mainly scoring in three ways, Pascal’s offensive game is relatively simple but extremely impactful. The three ways include being highly effective in transition, having a respectable post game, and a handle that allows him to get to his spots and operate accordingly. He can seemingly score all around the court with a variety of moves and sweet spots. His most recognizable move has to be the spin. I can’t tell you how many times he has put the opposition in the blender and spun them around with the nimble footwork. The footwork is key for Siakam and his football background (soccer for the Americans) has translated to the NBA very well.

His mid-range jumper and 3 point shot are what needs to be tweaked the most. His shot has definitely improved over the years but to reach the next level of superstar status, it does need to become more consistent. Adding in a respectable 3 point shot and mid-range pullup, Siakam can become an offensive juggernaut that defences will be unable to contain for the next coming years. With his defence, he is far from a liability and his efforts have not diminished with his uptake in offensive production. Able to guard the one through five positions with his length, quickness, and positioning, Pascal can be trusted to deliver a solid job on the defensive end.

He’s 26, it’s only been four years and the foundation is there. The mindset and determination from within is established also. The steps taken to becoming one of the best in the league have been healthy and the glory of it all is — time is on his side. Like any full course meal, it takes time to put things together. Adding the right ingredients, having it blend together, and the delivery on when it comes makes it all worth it in the end. Pascal hasn’t rushed the process and if he continues the work he has already put in while adding to his ready-made mindset, anything is possible. Look out to see his name more often in the NBA news.

Thanks for reading, share with a friend, and remember, the Raptors are your reigning NBA champions. Take care and answer the question below!

Is Pascal Siakam a top 25 player in the NBA right now?

Writer, Sports fan, Sauce Enthusiast. Checkout my blog for more stories here! www.timelessthoughts.ca