Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam’s All-Star chances compared to competition

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Current place in voting: 4th in the frontcourt (599,289 votes)

In just his second year, Jayson Tatum is once again making a name for himself.

As the second-leading scorer of the Celtics, Tatum is already finding his way into the top-five of All-Star voting.

In a loaded frontcourt that includes Antetokounmpo, Embiid and Leonard, Tatum will have a hard time breaching the starting lineup, instead relying on a reserve nod. As another Eastern fringe contender, what’s the case?

The case for Tatum over Siakam:

One of the youngest players in the league, Tatum has already garnered the favor of a large fanbase, including that of Kobe Bryant.

Before working with him this offseason, Bryant was noted questioning why his former team didn’t draft the forward according to  NBA skills trainer Drew Hanlen.

Outside of his celebrity, Tatum has seen his numbers rise from last year in scoring (16.3 PPG), rebounding (6.8 RPG) and assists (1.8 APG).

On defense, the youngster has continued to contribute as well, racking up 2.2 defensive win shares through the league’s first half. His contributions on the defensive end have upped that of multiple stars including Leonard, Kevin Durant and Victor Oladipo.

Whether it is due to playing under Brad Stevens or not, Tatum has proven his worth on both ends of the floor thus far.

The case against Tatum over Siakam:

Tatum’s case is largely overshadowed by his teammate Kyrie Irving and the known brilliance of his head coach.

After a run last year in the postseason that included multiple series wins despite the lack of a superstar, Stevens’ coaching was brought into the limelight. While adequate, Nurse fails to yield the same cache.

Statistically speaking, the two players are very similar. In scoring, Siakam has posted a similar mark of 15 per game, with his rebounding and assists numbers also upping Tatum’s.

While Siakam’s win shares mark of 5.3 on the year rivals many of the league’s top stars, Tatum’s mark of 3.5 falls into the league’s majority. For comparison, Willie Cauley-Stein has an identical mark on the year. Though a decent player, WCS has a long way towards being named an All-Star.

If Tatum is able to garner a bid, so too should Siakam. The likely outcome though is that only one, if any, will make it.