Pascal Siakam reportedly ‘almost a certainty’ to get $170 million max extension from Raptors

Philadelphia gave Ben Simmons a five-year, $170 million max extension this summer, which was pretty much a no brainer.

Denver gave Jamal Murray the same $170 million extension, which raised a few eyebrows around the league but is a real bet on him being part of a championship-level core with Nikola Jokic.

Does Pascal Siakam deserve that five-year, $170 million max extension in Toronto?

That’s what he’s waiting for, and with the Oct. 21 deadline fast approaching Chris Haynes at Yahoo Sports reports he’s likely to get it.

It’s almost a certainty that emerging star Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors will come to terms on an extension before Monday’s deadline for rookie-scale extension candidates…

However, in order to finalize the agreement between the two sides, a maximum contract offer will be required, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

That phrasing makes it sound like the max is not on the table yet. From a team perspective, a max offer should be a no-brainer — it should be obvious. It must not feel like that in Toronto or the offer would already be on the table (maybe it is and we don’t know). To me, this report sounds like an agent putting a “max or nothing” signal out, and doing it publicly. Which is to say I’m less certain a deal happens than the headline suggests.

Siakam is very good. Last season, he made the leap and became an important part of why Toronto won its first-ever NBA title. Siakam averaged 16.9 points and 6.9 rebounds a game, shot 36.9 percent from three, improved to become a reliable a shot creator, played impressive defense on the wing, and in the end earned the Most Improved Player trophy.

Siakam will be at the heart of whatever the Raptors are going to be moving forward, a face of the franchise in Toronto. But is he a max player? Toronto likely has tried to get him for less than the max.

Both sides may want to just want to play out this season and head into restricted free agency next summer. If Siakam takes another step forward, then he hits the market in a down year for free agents he may find a team willing to make that max offer, which the Raptors then would have to match.

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