Title: Projecting Pascal Siakam: Where does a rare development curve go from here?
Date: October 20, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I took a look at Pascal Siakam’s development to date and how we project a player with a truly unique trajectory.
There is only one Pascal Siakam.
That was our headline for last year’s player development series focus on Siakam, the ascending Toronto Raptors star the team bet on with a max contract extension just a few weeks later. The spirit of the headline was twofold: Stop asking if other players could make a Siakam-like leap, and we really don’t have any precedent to project Siakam after one of the highest-percentile development trajectories imaginable over his first three seasons.
As we roll the annual player development series out again for this offseason, Siakam remains a worthwhile standalone focus. How he continues to develop is paramount to the Raptors’ future. That was true a year ago when he may have projected as a ceiling-raising No. 2 option to attract a co-star, and it’s true now that he’ll take up 28 percent of the team’s salary cap and get another crack as the team’s go-to guy as the Raptors figure out if he’s a 1A or a 1B for their future.
It’s easy to get lost in the way things ended for Siakam. A tough series against Boston, and really a tough relaunch overall, is not the first challenge he’s facing, and he has made a career to date by overcoming each subsequent setback. Zoom out and Siakam still had a pretty great season, taking on another massive leap in usage and earning All-NBA second-team honours for his play before the break.