Title:Pascal Siakam embracing versatility with Raptors: ‘Create a new position and play me there’
Date: October 19, 2018
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Pascal Siakam’s improvements have unlocked some serious versatility and why he doesn’t mind how that versatility is leveraged.
Admittedly, this was not how they envisioned things originally. Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl, close friends united by the fortune of the 2016 NBA Draft and brought close through two years of ups, downs and Bench Mob success, starting at their respective positions on opening night. They’d started together twice before, early into their careers as injuries forced the hand of the Toronto Raptors, and their ascension as individuals and as a pair suggested it would happen again.
Just not like this.
Shortly before Siakam took the floor at Scotiabank Arena as the starting power forward for the Raptors, he received a text from Poeltl. After two years of delivering these messages in person — from a few locker stalls away, boisterous and teasing — the small digital pep-talk still felt strange. Poeltl, of course, was traded to the San Antonio Spurs as part of the deal that landed Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green alongside Siakam in this same starting lineup. No longer teammates, Yak & Skills, as they came to be known, remain quite close.
“Good luck. Go kill it,” the text read.