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Raptors coach Nick Nurse says Pascal Siakam’s next step is to become ‘The Man’

Pascal Siakam, Nick Nurse, Raptors

Following a tremendous third year in the league in which he earned the honor of Most Improved Player, much is expected from Toronto Raptors rising star Pascal Siakam in the coming campaign.

Reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is now out of the picture, which leaves a clear path for Siakam to take over as Toronto’s main man. Raptors head coach Nick Nurse seems to be on the same boat, with the incoming second-year shot-caller demanding a lot more from his new star for the coming season:

“I just think his next step in progression is being ‘The Man,’” Nurse told William Lou of Yahoo Sports Canada. “Instead of being a complementary guy next to ‘The Man,’ he’s gotta be ‘The Man’ — the primary scorer and the primary option and the late-game scorer.”

Nurse is obviously not joking around here, and he has put a ton of pressure on the shoulders of Siakam with his statement here. Nonetheless, it’s not as if this will come as a surprise for the 25-year-old. Judging by the promise he showed last season, this is definitely something Siakam can live up to.

Nurse went on to say that while he believes the 6-foot-9 power forward still has quite a long journey ahead of him, Siakam has the makings of becoming a great player:

“There’s lots of little steps left to climb yet for him,” Nurse said of Siakam, “And I think the sky’s the limit.”

Last season, Siakam averaged 16.9 points (on 54.9 percent shooting), 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.7 blocks, while also shooting 36.9 percent on 3-pointers. There is a very good chance that the Cameroon international makes further strides in the coming season.