The Toronto Raptors were eliminated in heartbreaking fashion by the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, and while there will be a lot of question marks this offseason in Canada, re-signing star forward Pascal Siakam before he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2024 is probably at the top of the list.
The 29-year-old confirmed on Thursday that he loves the city and would be happy to stay in Toronto long-term.
“It’s something we haven’t really talked about. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Siakam said when asked about a possible extension, according to TSN’s Josh Lewenberg. “This is the most I’ve been somewhere outside of Cameroon. It feels like home. I would love to be in Toronto [long term]. It’s part of who I am as a person.”
Siakam said he was proud of the way he played in 2022-23; he averaged a career-high 24.2 points per game and earned an All-Star nod to the festivities in Salt Late City earlier this year.
“What I’m proud of, for me this year, is just putting the work in no matter what. I was in there every single day, no matter how good or bad things were going,” Siakam said after the Raptors lost 109-105 to the Bulls, shooting a dismal 18-for-36 from the free throw line in the process.
“Something that in the past I wasn’t really able to do just because I feel…sometimes [I would] ride my emotions a lot more. And so this year, one thing that I got better at is just, no matter what, just put the work in.”
Siakam signed a four-year, $130 million contract with the Raptors in 2019; he’s set to earn $37 million next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent in the 2024 offseason.
But first, a long offseason, and at least one more season with the Toronto Raptors, who are far removed from the franchise’s 2019 NBA Championship.
“We’re going to have to be better,” Siakam said after the loss. “Not consistent enough and that’s got to change.”
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