Scottie Barnes Already Validating His Draft Selection and Emerging as the Toronto Raptors’ Next Great Star

Toronto Raptors draft pick Scottie Barnes has been the talk of NBA media circles since his selection at No. 11 overall in this past June’s NBA Draft, and fans have taken notice too. The skilled wing player is already setting himself apart from other rookies by being a consummate professional with an incredible work ethic that will earn him plenty of playing time while he develops into one of the league’s top scorers.,

Scottie Barnes is already validating his draft selection and emerging as the Toronto Raptors’ next great star. The Raptors selected him with the 23rd pick in the NBA Draft, but he has been a key contributor for them already.

The Toronto Raptors bid farewell to Kyle Lowry, an all-time franchise legend, this summer, but Scottie Barnes might be ready to take his place.

Barnes was taken as the fourth overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft by Toronto. The former Florida State star had risen quickly in the months leading up to the draft, and now Raptors fans can understand why.

Barnes isn’t only helping the Raptors become more competitive. As the franchise’s future face, he’s already following in the footsteps of Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.

Prior to the 2021 NBA Draft, Scottie Barnes had a reputation as a top defender and dynamic playmaker.

During his tenure in Tallahassee, Scottie Barnes wasn’t exactly a prolific scorer. In his rookie season, the former Seminole averaged 10.3 points per game while shooting only 27.5 percent from outside the arc. Despite this, he was one of the most fascinating talents in the 2021 draft due to his wide skill set.

Barnes is a 6-foot-9 big with a knack for creating offense. In his lone season at Florida State, he averaged 4.1 assists, enough for seventh in the ACC. In addition to his stature, the West Palm Beach native was a force on the boards, averaging 4.0 rebounds per game.

Barnes was an appealing prospect ahead of the draft because of his stature and length, as well as his ability to defend various positions. Toronto already has Fred VanVleet in the backcourt and plans to pick Malachi Flynn in 2020, so wing depth is a top goal.

Barnes was selected fourth overall by the Raptors, and he has wasted no time in proving his draft status and displaying the qualities that might make him a star in Toronto.

Barnes has made an impression in his first few games.

Although Scottie Barnes’ NBA debut did not go as planned, his previous two appearances show that he has star potential.

Barnes had six mistakes and 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting in his first professional game. But he bounced back spectacularly, scoring 25 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in a rout of the Boston Celtics. On Saturday, the 20-year-old put up another strong performance against the Dallas Mavericks, scoring 17 points and collecting eight rebounds. According to USA TODAY, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd praised Barnes’ skills after the game.

“Scottie Barnes is an outstanding rookie.” He’s a fantastic player…. He’s really talented. On both sides of the floor, he is a problem, and he understands how to play the game. If he isn’t already a star in this league, he will be soon.”

–USA TODAY, via Jason Kidd

Barnes is demonstrating an advanced understanding of how to move without the ball and how to look for openings near the basket. But it’s his effort on the offensive glass that stands out. Through three games, the Raptors rookie has averaged nearly four offensive rebounds, demonstrating his dogged pursuit of the ball.

Even thus early in the season, there are other reasons to be optimistic about Barnes. While his perimeter game isn’t particularly explosive, he’s demonstrating that he’s at ease drawing up for mid-range shots and transitioning. He grabbed a defensive rebound and quickly went coast-to-coast for an easy layup against the Celtics.

Barnes is yet to make a significant contribution as a secondary playmaker. Through three games, he’s only averaging 1.7 assists. Nonetheless, the value he brings to the Raptors is apparent, and his ability to score, rebound, and assist hint to his star potential.

The Raptors could be able to bounce back sooner than expected.

On October 23, 2021, in Toronto, Canada, Scottie Barnes dunks the ball during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at Scotiabank Arena | Getty Images/Cole Burston

Toronto missed the playoffs in 2020-21, and Lowry’s departure gave the team a sense of change. If Barnes’ performance is any indicator, the Raptors might be back in the postseason hunt sooner than expected.

The Raptors have a formidable backcourt in VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr., who can score off the bench thanks to his ability to span the floor and adds to Toronto’s defensive tenacity. Goran Dragic, meanwhile, might play a bigger role in the future.

On the defensive end, Barnes and OG Anunoby are two long wings that cause havoc. Precious Achiuwa, Khem Birch, and Chris Boucher provide depth in the frontcourt for head coach Nick Nurse.

Toronto’s potential will not be fully realized until Pascal Siakam returns to the lineup. Regardless of the Raptors’ immediate ceiling, Scottie Barnes seems to be a franchise cornerstone who can quickly bring the club back on track.

CBB Reference and Basketball Reference provided the stats.

Nick Nurse adds salt to Toronto Raptors fans’ wounds by forgetting that their star player is already in South Beach.

The “scottie barnes draft reaction” is a video that shows the reactions of fans after the Toronto Raptors selected Scottie Barnes with their 20th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

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