“With Pascal developing like he is — you have to understand that he’s a playmaker, man,” Hines says, touting Siakam as a Draymond Green-type in that regard. “He can push it, and he’s really [expletive] athletic. I think people will be surprised next season by how much he’s developing and just how good he is. He gets the ball, pushes it, passes it, he’s really unselfish and all about team and trying to win. I think that’s the best part about him.
“And he’s fast,” Hines continues. “So he can get a rebound and push it himself now. That gives him a whole other dynamic, especially given the way the game is being played now. And obviously his defense speaks for itself. He can already switch and play multiple positions defensively, but I think the way his offensive game is developing — he puts pressure on the defense, and can make plays for other people. That’s valuable nowadays.”
Hines’ praise hardly stops there.
“Let’s put it this way: I’ve worked with a lot of people and he’s probably worked harder than anybody.”
As for the cavalcade of the NBA’s elite who have shared the court with him this summer, they too have taken stock of Siakam’s improvement and what could be a monster season ahead of him.
“They love him,” Hines says. “Chris Paul loves him, James Harden loves him. He gets the most praise out of everybody. You hear them saying, ‘Man, he got better.’ He gets the most praise out of anybody that comes through the gym.”
The Raptors’ bench is poised to once again be a game-changing weapon for Nurse and the Raptors. If the off-season is any indication then it’s Siakam, already rightfully touted as a league-wide breakout candidate, who could take the biggest step forward and help the team reach its full potential.