Now that Lowry is officially on his way to the Miami Heat, Siakam has not only the contract but also the keys to the Toronto castle.
The new batch of responsibility comes after a season of illness, injury, hollow trade rumours and conflict — all while playing away from Canada as border restrictions amid the pandemic kept the Raptors in Tampa for the entire 2020-21 season.
As he struggled through the losing campaign, Siakam doesn't hide that the negativity got to him.
"Coming to Toronto, I always felt like it was a perfect mix. Me and Toronto was always perfect because, OK, I’m international, I love the diversity about being in Toronto. I understand being an underdog. Toronto always feels like it’s that underrated type of city. The people always feel like they never get respect from the general American media," he said.
"I think for me, just seeing the negativity and all the slanders about me, it just made me feel some type of way, obviously, to be honest. It was just kind of disappointing and just kind of like, 'Man.' I really did feel like just me going through tough times, it’s not going to change everything, right? I felt like we were connected."