The Raptors selected New Mexico State power forward Pascal Siakam with the No. 27 pick in the 2016 NBA draft.
Siakam averaged 20.3 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game last season, his second with the Aggies.
Siakam, a native of Cameroon, showed tremendous improvement during his college career after redshirting upon his arrival on campus. One area of concern is his lack of experience playing against top competition, though he did post 26 points and 10 rebounds against Baylor this past season.
Earlier, Toronto picked Jakob Poeltl with the ninth overall pick.
Strengths: Siakam’s production was incredible last season. It came at a small–conference school, but the numbers are still staggering. He parlayed that performance into a draft combine invite and impressed with his hustle and mobility. With a 7’3” wingspan and aggressive approach on the inside, Siakam could be a useful energy big and has a lot of potential on the defensive end given his coordination and foot speed.
Weaknesses: He’s already 22 and old for his class, and could still stand to fill out his body and polish up his skill set. Siakam is dependent on his athletic gifts and likely has to expand on that to make an NBA impact. He isn’t a very good shooter, and on the other side of the ball, played a lot of zone defense in college.
Explanation: Siakam was extremely productive at New Mexico State last season, but was a projected second-rounder. He’s also already 22. The Raptors are adding depth up front, and his physical tools and competitiveness suggest he will eventually give them something. Still, it feels like somewhat of a reach here. - Jeremy Woo