Masai Ujiri hasn’t had extension talks with Pascal Siakam because many Raptors ‘didn’t play the right way’ last season

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam is currently eligible for an extension, but it doesn’t seem like the organization is in any rush to get one done.

Raptors executive Masai Ujiri spoke candidly on Monday about where things stand with Siakam. He explained that the team hasn’t talked to the 29-year-old about an extension yet and didn’t hold back while elaborating.

Ujiri seems focused on changing the culture within the team.

The Raptors had a disappointing 2022-23 season, finishing 41-41 and taking a quick exit in the play-in tournament. The season was particularly discouraging due to the fact that they made the playoffs easily in the 2021-22 campaign.

If culture issues played a role, Ujiri is perhaps wise to address that concern before looking at other items, like a potential extension for Siakam.

Siakam has spent his entire career with the Raptors since being drafted by the team in the first round in 2016. He has checked several impressive boxes during his time with the organization, earning two All-Star selections and two All-NBA nods.

The forward also won Most Improved Player honors in the same season he helped the Raptors win their first NBA title (the 2018-19 campaign). Toronto would love nothing more than to return to title contention in the near future.

In the 2022-23 regular season, Siakam averaged 24.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per contest while shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from beyond the arc. He played a massive role — something he’s used to — as he averaged a league-high 37.4 minutes per game (in 71 total appearances).

If the Raptors don’t extend Siakam, he’ll become a free agent in the 2024 offseason, opening the door for him to leave the franchise that drafted him. Ujiri and the rest of the organization have likely spent some time thinking about how they’re going to approach Siakam’s future, but it’s unclear what the plan currently is.

Toronto will open its 2023-24 season later this month against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Raptors have enough talent to be playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference this season, but they’re going to need to erase some bad habits in order to get there.

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