Raptors: Scottie Barnes kickstarts Pascal Siakam MVP hype train

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 31: Pascal Siakam #43 chats with Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 31: Pascal Siakam #43 chats with Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images /

Claiming that Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam has a legitimate shot at winning the MVP would have been one of the more absurd statements that you could have made in the offseason. A few weeks into the 2022-23 season, however, Pascal’s charge at the game’s ultimate individual honor is looking stronger than ever.

The Raptors star is averaging 26.1 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 7.4 assists per game. A 30-point win against the Atlanta Hawks, aided by Scottie Barnes shooting the ball well and O.G. Anunoby playing elite defense, helped confirm that very few in the league are on Siakam’s level.

The Raptors are only going to go as far as Siakam takes them this season, and the first few games have shown that this team is capable of riding No. 43’s coattails to tons of regular and postseason victories. Barnes thinks that it is time Siakam gets the love he’s earned from the rest of the league.

Per Eric Koreen of The Athletic, Barnes said that Siakam has “been killing it” and thinks he should remain in the MVP discussion if the Raptors continue to win games this season. The MVP chants from the Scotiabank Arena crowd are growing less hyperbolic and more realistic by the day.

Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes thinks Pascal Siakam could be an MVP.

Consider for a moment the fact that an opening night victory against the Cavaliers in which the All-NBA forward recorded 23 points and 11 rebounds may have been his least impressive statistical performance so far this season. We’ve seen Siakam be a regular triple-double threat for years, but this is absurd.

While 4-3 may not sound like the most impressive record in the world, the fact that Toronto has gotten to this point despite playing seven straight games against expected playoff teams with one of the worst benches in the league is a testament to Siakam and the numbers he’s putting up.

NBA.com appears to have gotten in on the Siakam hype, as they listed him fourth on their MVP ladder. Only Ja Morant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Luka Doncic ranked above him. Even being mentioned in that company has to make Siakam and the Raptors feel great about where he is and what he could become.

Simply put, Pascal Siakam is playing like a top-five player.

Even if winning MVP might be a bit lofty at this point in time due to the eye-watering numbers Giannis and others are putting up, Siakam is not going to go away anytime soon. An elite passer, scorer, and leader who keeps piling up wins, Siakam is certainly checking tons of the boxes voters will be looking at.

3 free agent messes Raptors passed on. dark. Next