When the Toronto Raptors selected Pascal Siakam in the latter half of the 2016 NBA Draft, I don’t think anyone expected this.
Sure, Siakam looked like he could develop into a solid two-way role player, perhaps becoming a really good three-and-D guy, but Siakam has already far exceeded those expectations.
Now in his fourth season, Siakam has developed into one of the best young players in basketball, as he is averaging 25.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists over 36.9 minutes per game while shooting 47.4 percent from the floor, 37.6 percent from three-point range and 82.9 percent from the free-throw line.
Siakam’s outstanding play this season has helped the Raptors compensate for the loss of Kawhi Leonard and jump out to an 11-4 start ahead of their matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
76ers big man Al Horford, who has been watching Siakam as a division rival for years, is very impressed with Siakam’s work ethic and has noticed a massive change between Siakam early in his career and now.
“Early in his career I feel like he was still trying to find his place in the NBA,” said Horford, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN. “He looks like the kind of guy that just continues to work and get better, because you can see it on the floor. … It’s a testament to the coaching staff and his work ethic.”
During Siakam’s first three NBA seasons, Horford was playing for the Boston Celtics, so the Philadelphia big man has certainly seen quite a bit of Siakam over the last several years.
Now, he will get to see him for the first time this season on Monday evening.