The Toronto Raptors job is to go against the grain, and once again, they have shocked the world by taking Scottie Barnes out of Florida State fourth overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. There was destined to be a clear top four players in this year’s draft, and the Raptors had the luxury of taking the player out of those four who fell to them. If they had stuck to the status quo, Jalen Suggs would have been a Raptor, but this front office has earned our trust by now that we should believe Scottie Barnes will be the superior player in the long-run.
This pick will likely bring some roster implications along with it. The Raptors now have a log jam in the frontcourt of Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and now Barnes. It will be difficult to give them all minutes at the same time, nonetheless opportunities for each of them to develop to their full potential. While Scottie Barnes projects to be able to play some minutes at the 5, it’s not an ideal fit, as his role is more so that of a point-forward.
Barnes is among the best passers in this class, and he has a freakish level of athleticism. He projects to be an All-NBA level defender in the future as well, with the ability to guard 1 through 5 fluidly. Offensively, he is a zero-level scorer. Last season, he shot 27.5% on 1.7 three point attempts per game. His shot will need a lot of work for him to become a two-way star (or online sports betting hero), but that is an aspect of anyone’s game that Nick Nurse should be trusted to develop. Fans’ first opportunity to see Barnes in action will come on Sunday August 8th at the NBA Summer League, where he is expected to take the floor next to Malachi Flynn, and whoever the Raptors draft at #46 and #47 later tonight.