he 2016 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday June 23rd with the Houston Rockets selecting 37th and 43rd. While the Rockets are without a first round pick given GM Daryl Morey’s tendency to orchestrate trades it would be unwise to count him out of making a deal to move up. With that Space City Scoop is featuring a Draft Prospect Series covering 60 of the top ranked prospects. Next up is Pascal Siakam
- Height: 6’10”
- Weight: 227
- Country: Cameroon, Douala
- Position: Power Forward
- Age: 22
- Reach: 8’11.5″
- Wingspan: 7’3.25″
- College or Pro League: New Mexico State, sophomore
- Stat line: 32 Games, 20.4 Points Per Game, 11.8 Rebounds Per Game, 1.6 Assists Per Game
Please note, the rankings below come from the most up to date versions as the time of writing. That said not all the mock drafts provide second round ranks or updates often only extend to the end of the first round.
Therefore, if you check a ranking and note the number has changed it’s likely due to updates and a shift in the rankings.
ESPN Chad Ford: 43
Draft Express: 42
NBA Scott Howard Cooper: 42
Bleacher Report: 28
Following the success of Bismack Biyombo in the playoffs it’s easy to draw a parallel to Pascal Siakam. The Cameroon youngster was also a late starter to basketball having played organized ball for just four years. Review of available video showcases an undeniable energy and extremely high motor. Furthermore, Siakam excels on the offensive boards, no doubt enhanced via his huge wingspan.
Where Siakam is different than Biyombo is his offensive skill set. Though he still needs to evolve in terms of his variety and shot selection the signs are there to believe in his potential.
I’m higher on Siakam than most pundits. Like a former Houston Rockets Hall of Famer (Hakeem Olajuwon) he moved from soccer to basketball. Again, with just 4 years of organized basketball under his belt his accelerated growth speaks to his natural talent, work ethic, and high basketball I.Q.
To wit, in his first season at New Mexico he took just 16 shots outside the paint connecting on three. In his sophomore season he took 300 shots outside the paint and hit over 44%. That alone speaks to his commitment to improvement and natural talent.
Add in his motor, energy, wing span and defensive upside and this could be another sleeper who translates into a surprise gem in the draft.
Like many of the rookies Siakam will be tasked with adding size and strength to his frame. Once he does he’ll improve on existing strengths which are rebounding and defense.
By getting such a late start in the sport Siakam greatest weakness is his lack of experience. Seconded only to his frame needing more strength and size.
Gaining experience and size will lend itself to his improvements on offense in terms of gaining confidence to allow for a greater variety of offensive weapons. The obvious area requiring his attention will be to improve his range and develop more consistency.
Though his motor and passion have translated into defensive gains on the offensive boards and blocks with more time on the court and he could become a truly great defender.
Honors and Awards:
As per Wikipedia:
- WAC Player of the Year (2016)
- WAC Freshman of the Year (2015)
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With his limited experience it might be easy to see him as a grab and stash prospect. That said, his advanced acceleration makes him worthwhile taking a chance on. Especially given who he’ll be in the mix against.
As for the Rockets they are already pretty strong in the front court, so he may not be the ideal selection. However, if there isn’t back court or small forward players available why not take a flier on someone with this much potential upside.
With his motor and strong will the potential is in place for Siakam to become a solid 2-way player though his motor and effort already point to him being an upper tier defender.
To reiterate it’s doubtful Morey will be looking for grab and stash prospects, so while Siakam is highly intriguing expect the Rockets to pass on selecting the Cameroon prospect.