Raptors Notes: Siakam, Roster, Taylor, Tampering

Several coaches and executives believe Raptors forward Pascal Siakam has a strong case for a maximum extension after his breakthrough season, writes Frank Urbina of HoopsHype. Siakam was fighting for playing time in his first two NBA campaigns, but he earned Most Improved Player honors for 2018/19 by posting a 16.9/6.9/3.1 line in 80 games.

“With Toronto in the situation that they’re in, no longer having Kawhi Leonard or Danny Green, Pascal Siakam may be a safe bet for them and they may want to give him a max extension to lock him up,” one Western Conference coach said. “I’ve been impressed with his development; he’s improved into a highly, highly serviceable player who’s very efficient and does a lot for that team. From the outside looking in, it seems like he’ll be able to continue his development too. He seems highly motivated and very grateful to be in the situation he’s in and he doesn’t take anything for granted.”

However, a couple of executives questioned whether Toronto should commit to a full max deal right now, saying it might be wiser to let him play out this season and negotiate with him as a restricted free agent next summer.

There’s more from Toronto:

  • Doug Smith of The Toronto Star takes a look at the battle for roster spots as training camp draws closer. With 12 players holding guaranteed contracts and three with Exhibit 10 deals, Smith expects the competition for the three open slots to be decided among Cameron Payne, Isaiah Taylor, Malcolm Miller, Chris Boucher and Dewan Hernandez.
  • The two-year contract that Taylor signed this week contains a $50K guarantee for the first season, but no protection beyond that, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. If he stays on the roster, Taylor will receive $1.62MM for this season and $1.76MM for 2020/21. Marks notes that it’s similar to the deal that Payne received, though Payne’s guarantee was $150K.
  • Columnist Dave Feschuk of The Toronto Star calls the NBA’s newly-adopted tougher stance on tampering more of a “nuisance” than a deterrent. He adds that little could be done to punish the Clippers for their aggressive recruitment of Leonard last season because the wealth of owner Steve Ballmer makes a $10MM fine insignificant, and most of the team’s upcoming draft picks already belong to Oklahoma City from the Paul George trade.
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16 thoughts on “Raptors Notes: Siakam, Roster, Taylor, Tampering

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    It will be interesting to see how far the Raptors fall after winning it all last season. Everyone expects the Bucks, Sixers, and Celtics to lead the conference while Indiana should round out the top 4.

    After that it’s anyone’s guess who makes the playoffs. Toronto should still be able to win enough games and probably Detroit too. I don’t see Brooklyn as a definite playoff team, but there’s not a lot of serious competition for the last two spots outside of Miami. The only other possibility would be Atlanta and maybe Orlando. I don’t see Chicago making it, they won’t be that much better than the Knicks. While Charlotte, Washington, and Cleveland should all compete for one of the top 4 picks in next summer’s draft.

    • Down with OBP

      Didn’t they expect the Celtics to win the east too? Raps record without KL was quite respectable and the way everyone is laying them to rest, they may be the first returning champion to win surprise team of the year. Lol.

    • x%sure

      Yes there’s only really 4 teams out of it– CHI, CLE, CHA, WAS. 3 teams at the top– MIL, BOS, PHL. 8 in the middle.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Those 8 teams in the middle should be trying to get a lottery pick instead of making the playoffs because none of them are getting past the Bucks, Sixers, or Celtics.

        • SuperSinker

          You’d always rather win games than lose games. No team is invincible in the east lol

        • Celtics were supposed to be invincible last year two. This year they have a new, untested formula to find success.

          Horford leaving might be more problematic than expected for their chances of success.

  2. Major Factuh

    Raptors will be sellers. Curious to see if the go on and swap Lowry.

    • Theone23

      I can almost guarantee you the Raptors will not be sellers next year. Lazy/easy narrative. Will still be a top 4/5 team in the East with potential for more

      • Major Factuh

        Eh sometimes the easy answer is the correct one as in this case. Can’t just give them the benefit of the doubt as ‘champs’.

        • LordBanana

          Raptors can easily be top 4 in the east, teams don’t just tank every time their championship odds go down. This isn’t 2k…

  3. L Lawliet

    They have no superstar now. Gasol lowry and ibaka are a year older and on the edge of their prime. No danny green. Replaced kawhi with hollins jefferson amd stanley johnson. And they are the champs so their is no catching teams off gaurd ever team in the league will be looking to flatten them next year. People who use the narrative that their record was good when Kawhi sat last year are not realizing this. Kawhi’s impact off the court was phenomenal too. He gave that team a swagger that even if he sat they still were confident. With him all the way gone I think that swagger will fade after a few losing streaks.

  4. LordBanana

    Raptors are still a solid team, no one in the east is at all convincing except the Bucks and Sixers. I wouldn’t bet on them in the playoffs but they could have a solid regular season record.

  5. Dionis89

    The Raptors will be fine, OG Anunoby should fit in perfectly where Kawhi played. He’s got the same frame and potential on defense, all he needs to work on is becoming a go to option on the offensive end instead of just being a 3 and D wing.

    The Raptors will remain contenders so long as OG makes strides, he could be a 15 ppg scorer this coming season if Nurse gives him a defined role. I wouldn’t underrate Nick’s ability to bring out the best in Rondae,Stanley, and OG. I think they could make a surprise Conference Finals appearance but the sky is the limit for OG Anunoby, he was a big part of their defense early on last season.

  6. Dark14ry

    So out of this whole tampering thing, clippers and Kawhi is their chosen poster child? What a joke! Yea, the Clippers were the biggest offender…. We will ignore all of the FA Announcements that were released within the 1st day of Free Agency, because all the Superstar deals came together in mere minutes.

    How much Tampering was really done, when Kawhi was the last Big FA to commit?

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