Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri says the team has had “conversations” with Pascal Siakam’s representation about a contract extension.
Speaking at a press conference during Raptors Media Day on Saturday, Ujiri told reporters he expects the Raptors to keep Siakam “for a long time.”
The Raptors can extend the 25-year-old forward any time before the beginning of the regular season (Oct. 21), but will have to wait until the off-season if they can’t get a deal done in the coming weeks. Siakam will become a restricted free agent at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.
“He’s just become a diverse player, a very dynamic player that continues to grow,” Ujiri said when asked what it is that can make Siakam the Raptors’ No. 1 guy. “He’s going to have more on his shoulders, I think, this year, and I think he accepts that. He knows there’s a responsibility and he’s up for the challenge.”
Siakam is the NBA’s reigning Most Improved Player, posting career highs in points per game (16.9), rebounds per game (6.9), assists per game (3.1) and minutes per game (31.9) in 2018-19. The Douala, Cameroon native played in 80 regular-season games for the Raptors last season, starting in 79 (also a career high).
In the 2019 playoffs, Siakam started all 24 games as the Raptors won the franchise’s first-ever NBA title, averaging 19 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest.