3 reasons why Raptors’ Pascal Siakam deserves an All-Star nod

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 01: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 01: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 05: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors were able to send one player to the 2022 NBA All-Star game in Cleveland, as Fred VanVleet became just the fourth undrafted player in modern NBA history to earn that distinction. Unfortunately, star forward Pascal Siakam was not named to his second All-Star game.

Siakam has averaged 21.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game this season. He’s done all of this while playing out of position at center and leading the Raptors to a tie for the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference despite the lack of bench scoring handicapping the squad.

Siakam’s only chance at being named an All-Star again lies in the hands of Adam Silver. With Kevin Durant likely to sit the All-Star game out due to an injury, Silver could name Siakam as an injury replacement. However, names like Jarrett Allen and LaMelo Ball could snag that final spot.

Based on what Siakam has put forward this season, the NBA should name him as the Durant injury replacement if KD is unable to go. This might be one of the most egregious snubs this All-Star cycle given the totality of what he has put forth this season.

Toronto Raptors: 3 reasons Pascal Siakam should be an NBA All-Star.

3. He’s improved as a player

Siakam was named an All-Star in a season where he put up 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds prior to the break on a dominant Raptors team. Given how he’s been playing within the context of Toronto’s roster turmoil this season, he might be playing his best individual brand of basketball this year.

Since the start of December, Siakam is averaging 22.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game. That sort of production without a quality deputy that can take some of the scoring load away from him night in and night out shows he has been as integral to the team’s recent run of form as VanVleet.

Pascal Siakam is helping the Toronto Raptors on both ends.

Siakam is making a legitimate case for the All-Defensive team as well, as his play against big names like Bam Adebayo and Nikola Vucevic should turn some heads in the NBA league office. Siakam has completely reinvented his game to stick at center, and the results have been phenomenal.

While the league might be a bit apprehensive about finding a way to get two players from a team barely over .500 to Cleveland, Siakam’s play on both ends is as high as it has ever been. Very few players at any position in the East have been better than Siakam in the last two months.