Ujiri: Raptors aiming to keep Siakam ‘for a long time’

Raptors head of basketball operations Masai Ujiri says keeping Pascal Siakam long-term is a priority.

Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri confirmed a report that the team is trying to work out an extension with forward Pascal Siakam.

“We’ve had conversations with Pascal’s representation,” Ujiri told reporters. “We’re excited. Whether it’s going to be this fall or whether it’s going to be in the summer, he’s somebody we’re definitely going to keep for a long time here.”

Siakam, 25, is coming off a breakout year during the Raptors’ march to the title, proving to be a valuable piece alongside Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. Now that Leonard has moved on to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Raptors are likely to be relying on Siakam more than ever.

Siakam is coming off a breakout performance in 2018-19, one that saw him average a career-high 16.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game during the regular season. That strong season earned him the 2018-19 Most Improved Player award.

I love Toronto,” Siakam told TSN. “I love being here and I’m definitely hopeful we can get it done.”

Siakam is 6-foot-9 and stood out at both ends, averaging career-highs in points (16.9) and rebounds (6.9), usually while defending the opponent’s best frontcourt or wing player.

According to TSN, Siakam’s camp is expected to ask for a max contract worth approximately $130 million over four years. The Raptors can extend a $3.5 million qualifying offer next summer, make Siakam a restricted free agent and simply match any offer he receives.