Pascal Siakam has been selected to the NBA All-Star Game for the first time in his short career. However, it's only another step on his road to greatness.
A lot can change in four years, especially in the NBA. Four years ago, the Golden State Warriors were tearing down all in their path, now they have the worst record in the NBA- bar none. Four years ago, Pascal Siakam was nothing more than a role player and a rookie, doing his duties with the Raptors 905 and seeing sporadic time on the court for the Toronto Raptors.
Now, four years later, he's just been selected as an All-Star starter for the first time in his young career. Not only that, it'll be his first All-Star appearance, period. Last year, Siakam narrowly missed out on the vote during his third season in the league. A season that brought no less than an NBA title and the NBA's Most Improved Player award as he averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game on a 59-percent effective field goal percentage that included a small increase in volume - and efficiency - from three-point range.
This season has been everything Raptors fans have wanted it to be, so far at least. Without Kawhi Leonard, expectations were skewed in different directions. How well would Siakam be able to adjust as the offensive fulcrum of one of the NBA's elite teams? Surely, signs of struggles would be pretty frequent?
Not exactly. Siakam is currently averaging 23.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game on an eFG% of 51-percent. Sure, it's a big drop from last year, but Siakam is now taking almost nine more shots per game, and a heck of a lot more threes. Since returning from injury, his form has dipped a little bit, averaging 16.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game on 43-percent shooting from the field and 20-percent from three.
If we're being honest, maybe he doesn't look all that healthy yet. But, it'll come.
Regardless of how he has looked in his last six games, Siakam is a deserved All-Star starter if there ever was one. But here's the thing, it's only another step on his road to greatness. Siakam is by no means the finished article, and that's what makes him so amazing.
All-Star votes are coveted, and you can bet that every player wants to feature in the game at some point in their careers; it's a sign of recognition from your peers, fans, and the media, but it's not the be-all to end all.
There's a lot left for Siakam to accomplish at the age of 25 years old. He's only in the fourth year of his career and he's already a champion, the face of a franchise, the NBA's Most Improved Player, and, now, a first-time NBA All-Star. It certainly won't be the last time he's selected for the event, too.
That's a lot of accolades, but why settle there?
Pascal Siakam is on a quest to become a superstar, a quest that is already in full swing. Once he's back to full health, you just know he's going to revert to being a nightmare for any team he plays against.
For now, let's just rejoice in the fact that the league and fans alike are paying attention to the meteoric rise of Pascal Siakam. But, don't get it twisted, this rise isn't stopping any time soon.