Good news, Raptors fans: Our power forward of the future, Pascal Siakam, is planning to stay in Toronto for a long time, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe:
Factoring in this season, Siakam is now signed through the end of the 2023-24 season. The deal is worth $130 million, according to Woj; that’s the maximum amount Siakam could have signed for under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Shams Charania at The Athletic reports that there are no team or player options involved.
Sources: Raptors star Pascal Siakam's four-year, $130M maximum deal with Toronto does not include any player or team options.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 19, 2019
Although Siakam and the Raptors could have waited until next summer to sign this extension, it feels good to have Siakam locked up now, doesn’t it? This, combined with Kyle Lowry’s contract extension, likely means the Raptors won’t be players in free agency in the summer of 2020, but will have a decent amount of flexibility to sign free agents in 2021 — when a greater crop of players is expected to hit the market, including Giannis Antetokounmpo.
As recently as 12 months ago, would you have predicted Siakam as a max player? You certainly wouldn’t have predicted it when the Raptors took him with the 27th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. That he’s turned himself into the focal point of the team’s future, the Most Improved Player in the NBA, the second leading scorer on an NBA Championship team, and now a max contract player... it’s damned impressive.
Siakam averaged 16.9 points (on 55% shooting) last season, his third in the NBA, and bumped his scoring to 19.0 during Toronto’s postseason title run. (For reference: He averaged 4.2 ppg his first year in the NBA, and 7.2 ppg his second.)With Kawhi Leonard gone, Siakam looks to be the centrepiece of the team’s offense as it defends its championship in the 2019-20 season.