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Pascal Siakam set to make season debut on Sunday vs. Nets

Raptors big man had been sidelined due to a shoulder injury since the offseason. We break down what his return means for Toronto.

Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors shoots the ball during warmups before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on November 5, 2021 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

Toronto Raptors PF Pascal Siakam is set to make his season debut on Sunday against the Brooklyn Nets, Josh Lewenberg reported on Saturday afternoon. Siakam hasn’t played this season recovering from a shoulder injury and coach Nick Nurse confirmed the All-Star big will be back in the rotation. This is a big boost for the Raptors, who are 6-4 on the season and in the middle of the pack early on in the Eastern Conference standings.

Siakam averaged 21 points, 7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game last season in 56 games. Nurse told reporters Siakam will likely be eased back into action after having not played at all in 6 months. There’s also the possibility that Siakam comes off the bench on a minutes limit to start things out. This would mean rookie Scottie Barnes or PF Precious Achiuwa will keep their spot in the starting lineup for now. It makes sense for Siakam to eventually slot in for Achiuwa at PF.

For fantasy basketball, Siakam isn’t really viable until he’s off his minutes limit. That could take a few weeks, but once Siakam is up to speed, he’ll be worth starting in most fantasy formats. Siakam’s return could impact the entire Raptors rotation. OG Anunoby, Barnes and Achiuwa figure to be impacted, seeing fewer touches on offense. Achiuwa will definitely take a hit in terms of minutes. Barnes and OG should be fine.

The Raptors are 200/1 to win it all this season. While it’s a long shot to see Toronto competing for a title, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Siakam returning is another All-Star in the mix with Fred VanVleet and even OG. Barnes has played well as a rookie and Nurse is a championship coach. Toronto is 120/1 to come out of the East and 60/1 to win the Atlantic Division despite being 1.5 games out of first place through three weeks.