Toronto Raptors: Is Pascal Siakam a top-5 player in the East?

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Toronto Raptors – Pascal Siakam (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

Pascal Siakam has started the season in a rich vein of form for the Toronto Raptors. Is he currently a top-5 player in the Eastern Conference?

Upon the news that Kawhi Leonard was leaving the Toronto Raptors, it was made pretty clear that there would be a huge void to fill once he departed for the LA Clippers. That left people wondering who would replace the Leonard shaped hole and there could only really be one answer.


Leonard was in a stratosphere of his own in the 2019 NBA postseason and probably still stands alone as the best basketball player on the planet right now. Replacing him is impossible, and it would be unfair to ask anyone to replicate what he did for the Toronto Raptors on the way to their first-ever NBA title – and his second.

However, Pascal Siakam would be the man to step up into the primary scoring option, it was the only option. So far, it’s been an unprecedented success. Siakam’s rise to the NBA’s Most Improved Player came out of nowhere for a lot of people, and now his jump to superstar is next on the list.

Siakam has averaged 26 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists to start the season, and has been the Raptors best player on the court, all while looking like he’s not even hitting his stride yet. His star has grown that much, that it’s hard not to put him in the conversation for one of the 15 best players in the NBA, which would almost surely make him one of the best players in the Eastern Conference.

Siakam is definitely in the top five right now, but how close to number one is he?

Honourable mention

Jimmy Butler

It would be rude not to mention Jimmy Butler when talking about the best players in the Eastern Conference right now. Butler was the Philadelphia 76ers best player in the playoffs before they were knocked out by the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

From then, he was shipped out to the Miami Heat in a sign-and-trade deal that finally gives him a team that he can call his own. Butler is a terrific two-way wing player who can go toe-to-toe with the best of them on any given night.

Unfortunately for Butler, and Heat fans, he narrowly misses out on the top-5.