The Toronto Raptors struck gold when they landed Pascal Siakam in the 2016 NBA Draft, but even the biggest fan of the Cameroonian power forward couldn’t have imagined that he would become one of the best players in the league and the No. 3 offensive option on a champion.
Siakam was signed to a max contract that will keep him in Toronto for the next few seasons. While max contracts can often be a one-way ticket to locking up the salary cap, Siakam has outperformed his contract to an admirable degree over the last few seasons.
HoopsHype’s Real Value chart leans heavily on a metric called Global Rating (which takes into account productivity in the last three seasons alongside age and durability) to determine which players are underpaid. This chart shows that Siakam has quickly become one of the league’s most-prized assets.
Siakam was ranked as the 15th most valuable player in the NBA, representing a Real Value of just over $43 million against his $35 million salary. Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes, respectively, rounded out the top 40 at just over $28 million. Siakam was ranked above names like Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, and Anthony Davis.
Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam remains underrated.
Siakam is fresh off an All-NBA season in which he averaged 22.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. The last two numbers were the best marks of his career, and the former was off his best mark by just a few percentage points. Even after a shoulder injury, Siakam continues to shine through.
There’s actually a chance that Siakam is a bit underrated on this list. Siakam not only moved positions and played more center last year, but he saw some time as the backup point guard in charge of the second unit. Still only 28 years old, he has plenty of gas left in the tank.
Siakam could become eligible for a supermax contract if he ends up making All-NBA one more time. Considering how much responsibility the Raptors put on him, his stats may end up being good enough to once again enter that elite tier and get paid even more handsomely.
While there were some questions about Siakam’s ability to lead this team without Kyle Lowry helping him out when the season began, it looks like he smashed all of those expectations after just one year on the job. Things are only going to get better for Siakam and this fanbase in the next few years as he remains in his prime.