The defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors will begin life without Kawhi Leonard on Tuesday night when they host the New Orleans Pelicans, who no longer have Anthony Davis and will be missing injured future star Zion Williamson.
Leonard, so dominant in the championship run, left as a free agent to join the Los Angeles Clippers. The focal point of the Raptors will become Pascal Siakam, who signed a four-year, $130-million max contract extension Monday.
"I think people are done overlooking him," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. "Those days are done. Rightly so, he'll be a focal point for teams to scheme against. ... He's been blessed with an incredible motor. He's got a motor not only to play in games with tremendous energy but to do his day-long work with conviction and pace."