Raptors' Pascal Siakam to Return from Shoulder Injury, Make Season Debut vs. Nets

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVNovember 6, 2021

Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam dribbles during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said Saturday that Pascal Siakam will make his season debut against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, according to TSN's Kayla Grey.

Siakam has missed the Raptors' first 10 games this season after undergoing shoulder surgery in June.

While Siakam is arguably Toronto's best player, the Raptors have played well in his absence, going 6-4.

The 27-year-old Siakam has accomplished a great deal in five NBA seasons since Toronto selected him 27th in the 2016 draft.

Siakam was named the NBA Most Improved Player and helped the Raptors win their first championship in 2019, and he followed that with his first career All-Star nod during the 2019-20 season.

After averaging just 6.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game in his first two NBA campaigns, he broke out in 2018-19 with averages of 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest.

Although Kawhi Leonard was the unquestioned go-to guy on that 2018-19 team, Siakam played a huge role in the Raptors' winning it all, alongside Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, Fred VanVleet and others.

Siakam was elevated to top-player status the following season after Leonard left Toronto and signed with the Los Angeles Clippers in free agency.

The 6'8" forward was up to the task, as he averaged career highs with 22.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 three-pointers made per game, as well as 3.5 assists and 1.0 steal.

Siakam wasn't quite as good last season for a Raptors team that stumbled in the standings and missed the playoffs, but he was still productive with averages of 21.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.3 three-pointers made and 1.1 steals.

OG Anunoby has been the go-to guy for Toronto this season, averaging a team-high 20.6 points per game. Toronto is also getting great play out of VanVleet, rookie No. 4 pick Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr.

Adding Siakam to that group will be huge for Nurse, especially since the Raptors don't have anyone taller than 6'9". He figures to play a significant role in the paint for a team that has a chance to do damage in the Eastern Conference.