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Siakam’s ‘easy decision’ to stay with Pacers long-term

Last Updated 2 weeks by Amnon J. Jobi | Amnon Front Page

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle summed up Pascal Siakam’s long-term deal in one phrase Monday.

“This is easily the biggest free agent signing in the history of this franchise.”

The Pacers locked in the 6-foot-8 forward for the next four years with the second-largest contract in Pacers history reportedly worth $189.5 million.

Staying with the Blue and Gold was always the goal for the former NBA champ.

“They made this super easy for me to know that this is the place that I want to be,” Siakam said. “I think being on the court playing, the fans, how can you not like this? We have ambitions. We want to continue to win. We have an exciting growing team. Everything about it says, stay, stay, stay.”

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The decision to bring Siakam from Toronto to Indiana in January was just as easy for the Pacers front office.

“There was only one person for us,” Pacers president Kevin Pritchard said. “I remember specifically in the first two weeks telling everybody, ‘I thought this player was going to be a really good player for us, but he is an incredible talent, and I didn’t know how good he was and how good he is.

“Organically, his voice became louder and louder and more present,” Carlisle said. “He was a big reason why we had the success that we did. He’s a very, very special person. He’s a very, very unique player.”

Siakam’s celebration comes one day after his late father’s birthday — a moment not lost on the All Star.

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“It means everything to me,” Siakam said. “This was something that he dreamed about. I don’t even think that he ever dreamed that he would accomplish the things that I’ve accomplished. He just had this little silly dream for a lot of people but he stuck to it, and I think for me to be able to live his legacy and keep it forward it’s a blessing.”

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But there’s still more to be done.

“I think we’ve accomplished some great things this season, but I know that there’s more, and I’m here for that. I’m here for more,” Siakam said. “I want to push for everything. I want to win a championship again. I want to continue to be a winning organization, and again, I think we have the group to do it, and I’m excited to work for it.”

Now that the ink is dry, Siakam says he’s ready to build deep roots here in the Indianapolis. That starts with getting his charity, the PS43 Foundation, filling the needs of the Circle City’s community.