After Pascal Siakam signed a maximum contract extension with the Toronto Raptors in 2019, he struggled with his place within the franchise.
“I think it’s growing, obviously,” said Siakam to Sopan Deb of the New York Times.. “Because I just think that for me, I feel the love. Obviously, Masai, we go way back and I’ll always have a ton of respect for Masai and everything that he’s done for the continent [Africa].
“For me at that point when I started becoming that person, I just felt like there wasn’t that much level of communication, to be honest. And that was the only thing really that I felt. It was like, ‘We got you the max contract, but are you the guy?’ I think that’s something that I was struggling with.”
Siakam was asked to clarify what he meant by the statement.
“Obviously, Kyle [Lowry] was there, being a point guard,” said Siakam. “Kyle was, to me, always the greatest Raptor of all time. I think he was always like, ‘I was the guy.’ I had the contract, but I never really felt like I was the guy, to be honest.”
Siakam was asked whether he wanted them to tell him ‘you’re the centerpiece that’s going to take us to the repeat championship.’
“Yeah. I never really felt like there was that. And I think those conversations are happening now.”
Siakam was also asked whether he was irritated by the way he surfaced in trade rumors.
“It didn’t bother me really, because I never really heard anything from the Raptors. Even all the news I was seeing it was never like: “Oh. The Raptors wanted to give up Siakam for this.” It was always like, ‘The Warriors like Pascal,’ or it was always, ‘The Kings like Pascal,’ or this. There was never nothing where it was like, ‘The Raptors wanted to give away Pascal.'”