It’s not what has been that drives Pascal Siakam. It’s always been about what is to come, and it’s unfathomable that winning a significant NBA award will change the mindset of the Raptors forward.

Capping a meteoric rise from prospect to star, Siakam won the NBA’s most improved player award for the 2018-19 season in results announced Monday night, a fitting reward for a third-year player who went from being a backup to playing a vital role on a championship team.

Siakam is the first Raptor to win an individual regular season award since Lou Williams was the sixth man of the year in 2015. Damon Stoudamire (1996) and Vince Carter (1999) were named rookie of the year in their first seasons with Toronto.

The recognition was nice and it was fitting given the 25-year-old’s breakthrough season, but the native of Cameroon knows he has much more to give.

“For me, I think the motivation is, look what you did in three years. What can you do in 10, you know?” Siakam said in an end-of-the season media session. “It’s about continuing to build and understanding that you put the work in and you got to this point, but it’s only been three years. What can you do in more than that? So that’s my motivation. Seeing how great I can be. That’s the next step now.”

Siakam beat out Brooklyn’s D’Angelo Russell and Sacramento’s De’Aaron Fox for the award, presented as part of the league’s annual post-season TV show.

The various awards handed out Monday were based solely on the regular season, and voting by a panel of 100 media members who cover the league on a regular basis had to be completed before the playoffs began. The top three in each category were named finalists for the purpose of the awards show only, and the entire voting breakdown will be released by the NBA.

There is no doubt Siakam has a breakout season statistically, averaging 16.9 points per game — more than double his previous best — along with 6.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

But that only scratches the surface of his obvious improvement as a player. His all-around game — ball-handling and running the break with rebounds, scoring inside and outside — was just remarkably better and vitally important to Toronto’s play. At every step, he never looked back and was able to meet every challenge that came his way.

“He’s worked his tail off,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said during the NBA Finals. “(He has) kind of had this unbelievable start. You thought for a young guy that’s starting and scoring and this, that you would see … can he keep this up?

“And then we would say: Geez, it looks like he’s getting better and he would make another jump forward. And then the three-ball started going. Maybe 20 games in, he started making the three pretty consistently. Then you’re thinking: Well, is he going to tail off after the all-star game? And he would make another step forward.

“You would say: OK, the playoffs come, can he handle it? So he just keeps — his work ethic and his mindset just keeps building.”