Necessity is the mother of invention, and Toronto Raptors adhered to that principle by moving star power forward Pascal Siakam to center. The result was one of the greatest individual seasons in Raptors history on the offensive side of the ball and an All-NBA designation for Pascal.
Siakam averaged 22.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game in what was his finest season ever from a statistical point of view. With his rebounding and playmaking having evolved to levels we have never seen before, Siakam is in rarified territory.
Even though he might not be the loudest or most boisterous player in the league, Siakam’s numbers put him right next to players that are hyped as All-Star locks every single year.
Having already looked at where stars like Scottie Barnes and OG Anunoby stand in regards to their NBA compatriots, it’s time to analyze Siakam’s status in the NBA. Is he a top-five center in this league, or does the two-time All-NBA selection have some work to do?
NBA center tier list: Where is Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam?
Tier 7: Rookies/Replacement level
30. Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz
29. Mark Williams, Charlotte Hornets
28. Derrick Favors, Oklahoma City Thunder
27. Thomas Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
26. JaVale McGee, Dallas Mavericks
The injury to Chet Holmgren brings Favors back into the starting lineup alongside two first-round greenhorns. Missing out on Holmgren is a bummer, but Kessler and Williams should both be granted tons of developmental experience in Utah and Charlotte.
Playing Bryant at the center spot with Anthony Davis at power forward might be the best lineup combination Darvin Ham can lean on, provided Bryant’s injuries don’t come back. McGee doesn’t have the flashiest numbers, but he could help Dallas win some games if he crashes the boards well and sets good screens for Luka Doncic.
Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam far exceeds Mitchell Robinson.
Tier 6: Serviceable, if uninspiring
25. Isaiah Stewart, Detroit Pistons
24. Nicolas Claxton, Brooklyn Nets
23. Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets
22. Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors
21. Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Clippers
20. Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
Stewart and Sengun have different play styles, but Detroit’s bruiser and Houston’s offensively skilled youngster have the tools needed to eventually claw their way higher up this list in the next few years. The Nets expect big things from Claxton, who is still penciled in as the starter.
Zubac and Looney might not have the most eye-popping numbers, especially Golden State’s selfless dynamo, but they have shown they can be contributors on teams with designs on a championship. The Knicks brought back Robinson, who remains a tremendous rebounder and shot-blocker despite his limitations.
None of these guys are close to Pascal, however.