The Raptors are a team that has been making waves in the NBA this year, with their young roster and new head coach. Scottie Barnes is one of the players who have helped to make Toronto a contender, but what will his performance be like next season?
The Toronto Raptors surprised NBA fans by selecting Scottie Barnes with the fourth overall selection in the 2021 draft. Jalen Suggs of Gonzaga was predicted to be the Raptors’ first pick in most mock drafts. Masai Ujiri, on the other hand, seems to be more impressed with the 6-foot-9 forward from Florida State and all of the intangibles he offers as a playmaker and defensive wing.
Many people think the Raptors made a mistake by passing on Suggs. Barnes, on the other hand, seems fired up to prove his doubters wrong in his first season. With that in mind, here are two bold predictions for Scottie Barnes’ first season with the Raptors.
1. Scottie Barnes will have a good three-point percentage.
Barnes’ biggest flaw is his inability to hit 3-pointers consistently. Barnes shot only 27.5 percent from long range in his one season with the Seminoles. One of his most obvious flaws going into the draft was his inaccuracy from downtown.
Toronto, on the other hand, was reportedly impressed with what they saw from Barnes during his pre-draft workout. Barnes, who turns 20 on Aug. 1, said he had a terrific workout, which clearly convinced the Raptors to take a risk on him. Barnes, too, feels that his shooting has vastly improved since his collegiate days. In any event, he recognizes that he has a long way to go in terms of being a more consistent shooter.
Barnes is unlikely to be asked to do much on offense for the Raptors, with the exception of certain playmaking responsibilities, which he excels at. They might simply instruct him to stand on the corners and be ready to fire at any moment. This reduced role may be helpful to his development since he will be able to concentrate only on improving his shooting. His mechanics are a little wonky right now, but it’s simple to see how he can improve his stroke. As a result, it wouldn’t be shocking if he shot better than anticipated in his first season with the Raptors.
2. Barnes will help Toronto win a lot of games.
The Raptors are hoping to rebound from a disappointing 2020-21 season and return to the playoff picture in 2021-22. On most playoff teams, rookies don’t receive a lot of playing time, but Barnes may be a key part of their rotation this year.
Barnes is 6-foot-9 and has a whopping 7-foot-3 wingspan. With his ability to initiate and create plays on offense and be an extreme threat on the defensive end of the court, he draws parallels to Draymond Green. His length, intensity, and ability to defend various spots will undoubtedly be his calling cards in terms of getting minutes, particularly in the first year.
Nick Nurse is likely to stick to a more conventional starting lineup. Both forward positions will be filled by Pascal Siakam and O.G. Anunoby, putting Barnes on the bench for his rookie season. Despite this, many think that the Florida State star will be most successful as a small-ball five.
With all he brings to the table as a switchable defensive superstar, Barnes completing a lot of games for the Raptors this season would not be surprising.