Pascal Siakam has yet to play in an All-Star Game.
The Toronto Raptors forward has yet to make an all-league team; his most impressive individual accomplishment came after last season when he was named the NBA's most improved player.
But after a breakout performance in the NBA Finals against Golden State Warriors standout defender Draymond Green, Siakam is no longer a budding star.
He’s simply a star.
The max contract extension he signed before the season — reportedly for four years and $130 million — shows Toronto's belief in Siakam, 25, as a franchise cornerstone.
His early performance this season is garnering MVP mentions.
And in the ultimate sign of respect, Siakam’s name is invoked in scouting circles when assessing the ceiling of prospects like Detroit Pistons rookie Sekou Doumbouya.
And when those prospects — like Doumbouya — openly express the desire to be like Siakam.
Talking before the Pistons’ recent loss to the Raptors, Siakam said he met Doumbouya over the summer and the soon-to-be 19-year-old shared his admiration.
“It’s humbling,” Siakam said of the comparison. “It shows the hard work you’ve put in that people want to be like you.
The two men share many similarities.
Both are natives of African countries: Siakam is from Cameroon; Doumbouya was born in Guinea.
They share a language: French is one of the official languages of Cameroon; Doumbouya grew up in France and his mother lives in Orleans.
Their physical dimensions are similar: Siakam is 6 feet 9 and 230 pounds; Doumbouya 6-8, 230.
The Pistons are hoping that another similarity pays off.
Siakam played a significant chunk of his rookie season with the Raptors 905, Toronto’s G-League affiliate.
Doumbouya, a developmental player, will play much of this season with the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons’ G-League affiliate.
The Drive begins the regular season in Mississauga, Ontario, on Friday, which likely starts the process of seeing whether Doumbouya can approach Siakam’s heights.