The Toronto Raptors have entrusted large chunks of their short-term success to All-NBA forward Pascal Siakam. The hiring of assistant coach Rico Hines shows that the Raptors are not satisfied with what Pascal did last season. They want him to somehow get even better.
Last year, Siakam averaged 22.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game on a Raptors team that won 48 games and earned the No. 5 seed in the East. The fact that there is still more talent left to be mined from his deep reservoir of skills is extremely impressive.
The addition of Hines, who famously hosts the most star-studded offseason scrimmages in the league, is a sign that Toronto wants to get Siakam firmly in that select top-15 tier. Hines thinks Siakam is capable of doing so thanks to a devotion to improving his craft rivaled by few he has ever coached.
Hines said that Siakam has one of the top-five work ethics he has ever seen in this game, putting him in the same breath as Kevin Durant. Baron Davis and Monta Ellis also stood out as players willing to put the time in. Considering all the players Hines has helped coach, that is saying something.
Toronto Raptors: Rico Hines is a fan of Pascal Siakam.
Siakam is just a few days removed from saying that he would like to be a top-five player in this league. While fans can debate the merits of such a statement, given all of the top-tier talents in the NBA, Siakam failing to reach his goal will not be thanks to a lack of trying.
When Pascal arrived in Toronto out of New Mexico State, he was a very raw toolbox of skills who needed the right poking and prodding to become a multi-faceted star with the potential to eventually become a key member of a championship team. That doesn’t happen without tons of passion and determination.
Over the course of his career, Siakam has become a reliable 3-point shooter, a tremendous passer who has shown the ability to play point forward if needed, and a quality defender. With Hines, one of the game’s best with regards to development, joining Toronto, expect more greatness from Pascal.
Siakam is the perfect Raptor, in many respects. With versatility as one of his calling cards and a ceaseless motor that has helped him plug multiple holes in pursuit of a championship. Siakam embodies the values this organization constantly spouses. Working as hard as KD is as big a compliment as a power forward can get.