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Raptors’ coach welcomes Siakam’s four-year max extension
Toronto Raptors’ coach says Pascal Siakam will fill some of the void left behind by basketball star Kawhi Leonard, who turned down the team after helping win the championships.
It was reported Saturday that forward Pascal Siakam had agreed to a four-year, max contract extension with the Toronto Raptors worth US$130 million.
Coach Nick Nurse spoke about the new deal at a news conference Sunday before the team’s home opener at Scotiabank Arena Tuesday.
The Raptors had until Oct. 21 to agree to a new deal or Siakam would have become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2020.
After only starting to play basketball in his late teens, the coach said Siakam is now a threat to other teams.
“I think rightly so he'll be a focal point to scheme against,” he said.
Raptor Marc Gasol said Sunday that it’s going to be an emotional night Tuesday.
"It is going to be a very emotional [and] fun night, but after everything we are going to have to play again," said Raptor Marc Gasol.
Prior to the game, the championship banner will be lifted and players will be given their championship rings Tuesday.
"I'll wear it all the time" said forward OG Anunoby, who missed the entire playoff run following an emergency appendectomy.
Nurse said Anunoby is playing with an extra smile in his game since coming back.
Terance Davis, who joins the championship team this season, told reporters that “it is an honour to work with the reigning champs.”
Coach Nurse referred to the new group as a “dream team.”
"I think there is specialness to some of these guys, maybe it is because they won or maybe because of who they are,” he said.