The Toronto Raptors nailed it in the 2016 NBA Draft, as they drafted a player who would become one of their many franchise cornerstones in New Mexico State forward Pascal Siakam. Going from 27th overall to All-NBA twice is one of the most remarkable draft stories we’ve seen in some time.
While Siakam needed some time in the G League before reaching his full potential, he has quickly become one of the game’s best big men and a force to be reckoned with on both ends. While Siakam’s accolades give him a legitimate case for being the best player in that class, Bleacher Report doesn’t seem to be on board.
Bleacher Report didn’t even think that Siakam, the only player from this draft class with multiple All-NBA selections, is worthy of even being in the top five in a hypothetical redraft. Both he and Fred VanVleet have legitimate causes for complaint after seeing how low they got ranked.
Brandon Ingram, who has one All-Star appearance and one postseason appearance with no All-NBA honors, was ranked No. 1 overall. Siakam didn’t even crack the top five, as Jaylen Brown, Jamal Murray, and Ben Simmons were ahead of him. VanVleet was ranked eighth behind Domantas Sabonis.
Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam must be ranked higher in redraft.
Brown and Siakam might be comparable players right now, especially considering Brown’s role in making the Celtics a conference champion. Still, Siakam’s list of individual accolades combined with his success in the postseason over the last half-decade should put him on either equal or better footing.
Simmons at least has an argument for being above Siakam due to his All-Defensive Team nominations and three All-Star nods, but Pascal’s offensive quality should be enough to position him above the Nets star. Murray is the most egregious nod, as he lacks an All-Star or All-NBA nod that warrants his inclusion that high.
How often has a player made multiple All-NBA teams and been the third-most important member of a championship team been so continuously underrated by the rest of the league at essentially every turn? Siakam needs to be either No. 1 or No. 2, and VanVleet should be closer to the top five.
The Raptors are again projected to finish in the Eastern Conference playoff picture thanks to Siakam’s skills. Maybe one more season in which he challenges for All-NBA can convince the redrafting world that Siakam is on a higher plane than players like Murray.