January 18, 2024 marked the end of an era for the Toronto Raptors franchise, as the last piece of their 2019 championship core, Pascal Siakam, was traded to the Indiana Pacers. Needless to say, the Raptors have committed fully to their young core with blossoming Scottie Barnes at the helm, assisted by his two new co-stars, Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett.
The Siakam era was marred by many ups and downs. Following Kawhi Leonard's departure in the 2019 offseason, the keys to the team were left to Siakam to carry on their pursuit of a repeat. The 2019-20 Raptors squad, with Siakam leading the way, exceeded expectations, securing the second seed in the Eastern Conference and the second-best record in the entire NBA.
Despite this, the Raptors were unable to defeat the Celtics in the second round of the 2020 playoffs, as Siakam struggled heavily in that series, which soon caused the narrative around him to shift in a negative light.
Nonetheless, Siakam faced the adversity in stride and elevated his play to another level in the seasons following the 2020 Bubble. He improved immensely as a playmaker, returning to All-NBA and All-Star form.
It is certainly sad to see Spicy P go, but he will always live in the hearts of Raptors fans for his tenacity, growth, and admiration for the city over the years. It's time to reminisce down memory lane, so here are five of Pascal Siakam's best moments in his Raptors tenure.
Top 5 moments in Pascal Siakam's career with the Toronto Raptors
5. Pascal Siakam has best statistical season of his career, makes second All-Star game appearance in 2023
The 2022-23 campaign for the Raptors was a bit rocky, as the team finished with a 41-41 record. Unfortunately for the Raptors, they fell to the Bulls in the play-in tournament, yet a redeeming factor for the team was the continued growth and outstanding play from Pascal Siakam. Originally left from the 2023 All-Star game, Siakam was later tabbed as an injury replacement for Kevin Durant.
Pascal Siakam returned to All-Star form in 2023 despite a poor season for the Toronto Raptors
It was justifiably so as Siakam was in the midst of his best statistical season, averaging a career-high 24.2 points, 5.8 assists, and 7.8 rebounds. In Week 10 of that season (December 19-25), Pascal Siakam was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week with absurd averages of 38.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 7.3 assists.
His improvement in points per game that week was largely due in part to a new career-high performance of 52 points in a win against the New York Knicks. The Raptors season might've ended in mediocrity that season, but it was still a monumental year for Pascal Siakam.