3 Raptors who might earn accolades for excellent 2021-22 season

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 24: Pascal Siakam #43 and Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 24: Pascal Siakam #43 and Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
TORONTO, ON – MARCH 01: Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

Nick Nurse and the Toronto Raptors looked completely out of sorts during their Tampa stint, as they fell down to 11th place in the Eastern Conference. Just one year later, the addition of Scottie Barnes and the resurgence of Pascal Siakam has contributed to a much rosier season just one year after.

The Raptors are right on the edge of escaping the play-in tournament, which is a sign that Nurse’s sagely advice has been well-received by a young Raptors team with tons of newcomers. Toronto leaned into their young core, and the results they have provided have been nothing short of spectacular.

Siakam is dominating and Fred VanVleet became the first undrafted player in 15 years to make an All-Star team. While Toronto is no stranger to being short-changed by the larger basketball media landscape, that could change given the rapid ascension back to the playoff picture.

The rest of the league should not be surprised if Toronto takes home a few trophies and accolades over the next few weeks. With the star players producing at the clips we all expected and the youngsters standing out, there’s a ton to be excited about with Toronto’s progress.

3 Toronto Raptors who could win awards after standout 2021-22 season.

Pascal Siakam: All-NBA

Siakam seemed like a longshot for this designation early in the season due to the fact he missed games with an injury. His performance over the last few months has not only made his All-Star snub more egregious, but it’s also prompted some calls for him to receive some third-team All-NBA love.

Siakam has averaged just under 24 points and nine rebounds per game since he returned from the league’s health and safety protocols. Siakam has helped the Raptors continue to succeed despite some crushing injury news in the last few weeks and general holes on the depth chart.

Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is playing his best basketball.

Names like Sacramento’s Domantas Sabonis and Miami’s Jimmy Butler could potentially end up on this team over Siakam if the voters don’t give him the credit that he deserves. Given his gaudy numbers and the fact that he’s put those figures up on a winning team, the voters shouldn’t overthink this.

Siakam’s struggles last year appear to be more of a byproduct of the unusual situation Toronto found itself in rather than a downward trend. Siakam has silenced the haters, but it’s up to the media to make sure that he gets the recognition he deserves.