Toronto Raptors

Nick Nurse on Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam: 'I just think his next step in progression is being the man'

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has high expectations for Pascal Siakam moving forward.

"I just think [Siakam's] next step in progression is being the man," Nurse told William Lou of Yahoo Sports. "Instead of being a complementary guy next to the man, he's got to be the man - the primary scorer and the primary option and the late-game scorer.

"There's lots of little steps to climb yet for him, and I think the sky is the limit."

MORE: What Siakam needs to add to his game to be a star

Siakam made a tremendous leap last season, posting 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in the regular season. Those numbers helped him beat out former Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell and Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox for the league's Most Improved Player award.

Siakam also played a key role in the Raptors winning their first-ever championship. With 19.0 points per game, he was the team's second-leading scorer in the playoffs behind Kawhi Leonard. Siakam was tremendous throughout, opening the postseason with a 24-point performance and closing it with a 26-point, 10-rebound double-double.

With Leonard now in Los Angeles, Siakam is set to take over as the leader of the Raptors, starting in the 2019-20 season. Doing so will require him to fill a number of roles, with Nurse envisioning him potentially being a point forward.

"It's a [work in progress]," Nurse responded when asked about Siakam potentially playing small forward next season. "I just think he's good enough to play both positions. He can really play anywhere.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we almost make him like a point forward, where he'll handle the ball a lot up the floor."

MORE: Is Siakam ready to take over for the Raptors?

The Raptors will open next season on Oct. 22, when they host Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans.

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