As we’ve ticked closer to the league’s October 21st deadline for contract extensions, the Raptors and Pascal Siakam have loomed larger and larger in the collective Toronto consciousness. We want Spicy P to stay with the team, president Masai Ujiri wants him to stay in Toronto, and we have to assume (slash hope) that Siakam himself wants to continue his career with the Raptors.
Well, according to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes, wonder no more. One of the top reporters-in-the-know with regards to the NBA has this to say about Siakam in his latest dispatch — in fact, it’s the lede:
“It’s almost a certainty that emerging star Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors will come to terms on an extension before Monday’s deadline for rookie-scale extension candidates.”
That’s the stuff.
Coming off his 2019 Most Improved Player award, Siakam is set to make a mere $2.35 million this coming year, owing to his entrance into the league as the 27th pick in the 2016 Draft. An auspicious beginning, sure, but one that saw the 6’9” Cameroonian forward rise from the G League (where he helped the 905 win a title) to become a mainstay of the Raptors rotation, first as the member of the lovable Bench Broskis and then as one of the pillars on their 2019 NBA championship team. Now Siakam stands to become Toronto’s go-to guy in 2019-20 and, hopefully, beyond. That’s quite a journey.
Which, of course, means it’s now time for Siakam’s payday. As Haynes goes on to suggest, the only way this deal gets done is if the Raptors offer their new number one option a maximum contract. For reference, as Haynes points out, the only other players from the 2016 Draft class who qualified for such signings were Ben Simmons and Jamal Murray, both of whom have already received five-year, $170 million deals. Those two examples are instructive as both represent Designated Player five-year max deals that technically speaking Siakam could qualify for — though it feels unlikely the Raptors would go that route now. There are additional wrinkles to consider here, but let’s deal in the most possible outcome.
So then, what would a Siakam extension look like? According to the math of the Atheletic’s Blake Murphy, he’s due for something in the order of $130 million over four years — a deal that would start him at $29 million for its first year. If the Raptors are serious about keeping Siakam, and he wants to stay, and Haynes’ information on this is right, don’t be surprised to hear numbers like those bandied around by Monday.