The Toronto Raptors are lucky enough to have one of the league’s best players in Pascal Siakam. Fresh off the most statistically proficient season of his career, the Cameroonian star was named an All-NBA player for the second time in his career despite missing out on the All-Star team.
Siakam averaged 22.8 points per game (0.1 below his career-high), to go along with new personal-best marks of 8.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. After returning from the COVID-19 list in late December, Siakam averaged 24.0 points/8.8 rebounds/5.8 assists per game on 50/36/75 splits.
The Athletic released a tier list ranking the best players in the NBA. Siakam was relegated to “3B” territory behind dozens of his fellow All-NBA friends. Siakam was bizarrely thought to be equal to names like Draymond Green and Jamal Murray while ranking below the never-available Kyrie Irving.
What is going on?
Siakam’s status within the league as an unquestioned star is getting harder to deny with each passing season. His dominance and skill are without question better than that of these three players who were All-Stars last year.
Toronto Raptors: 3 2021-22 All-Stars Pascal Siakam is better than
3. Khris Middleton
Middleton has been a quality role player on some very good Bucks teams, but the fact that he was named an All-Star over Siakam is the height of irresponsibility by the voters. From a statistical point of view, there is no way to justify Middleton over Siakam in any ranking.
Over the last three years, Siakam’s points per game average of 22.4 tops Middleton’s 20.4 mark. How about rebounds? Pascal has him beat there as well by a 7.7 to 5.8 margin. Middleton has more assists per game (5.1 vs. 4.4), but the gap isn’t that wide despite Siakam’s role as a center.
Toronto Raptors. Pascal Siakam surpassed Khris Middleton last year.
The Athletic’s tier list had Middleton ranked as a “3A” player alongside names like Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving. That’s three whole tiers above Siakam even though they both have featured roles on playoff teams, and Pascal’s offensive game leaves Middleton in the dust.
Middleton is without question a top-flight wing in this league, but the fact that he’s coasted to three straight All-Star games while a superior player in Siakam has been shut out makes no sense. Pascal might have the support needed to distance himself from Middleton this season.