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Raptors’ Pascal Siakam discusses what’s most important to him as emerging NBA star

Pascal Siakam

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam put forth a monster performance in the Raptors’ Game 3 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night, racking up 30 points, 11 rebounds and four assists while going 13-of-20 from the floor and draining three 3-pointers.

In what ended up being a five-point game in which Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry combined for just 28 points, Siakam’s outing was key and is the main reason why Toronto now holds a 2-1 lead in its first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the Magic.

A top candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year, Siakam had this to say about his journey this season:

“Most Improved for me is something bigger than all that,” said Siakam, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN. “I’m just blessed to be here. People from where I’m from can look at me and hopefully dream they can be here one day. At the end of the day, if I do that, that’s what’s important to me. That’s the message I’m trying to send.”

Siakam, who is originally from Cameroon, was selected by the Raptors in the first round (27th pick overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft.

He had only limited playing time during his rookie campaign, averaging 4.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. But last year, he began to show signs of being a draft steal, registering 7.3 points and 4.5 boards a night.

Of course, the 25-year-old has completely broken out this season, recording 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 54.9 percent from the floor and 36.9 percent from 3-point range.