The Toronto Raptors selected Scottie Barnes out of Florida State with the No. 4 pick in the 2021 draft. He has been an intriguing piece for the team thus far.
This past season Barnes averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game on 49.2% from the field and 30.1% from three-point land.
There was not much improvement statistically from his rookie to sophomore year, however the talent is something that cannot be denied.
Barnes has been a point-forward and a long tenacious defender for a team that has hung their hat on size and defense. Not committing to a rebuild this offseason, the Raptors are looking to be in the playoff mix for this upcoming season.
In a recent interview with CBC, Barnes revealed his high expectations for the 2023-24 campaign:
“Expect great things from us. Through the highs, through the lows, just bear with us and … I feel like we’re gonna do good things this year.”
Toronto had a subpar 2022-23 season. They finished 41-41 and ninth in the Eastern Conference. Nick Nurse is now in Philadelphia and Fred VanVleet is in Houston. Therefore, the Raptors are hoping to turn the page with new head coach Darko Rajakovic and Scottie Barnes leading the way.
Barnes will need to step up in his third year if the Raptors want to be a playoff team.
The Raptors face a decision with Dennis Schroder
Guard Dennis Schroder cashed in on a pay day this summer. The Raptors signed Schroder to a two-year, $26 million contract. However, it remains to be seen if he will be the starting point guard or come off the bench.
The 6’1″ guard led his home country of Germany to a gold medal in the FIBA World Cup. He averaged 19.1 points and 6.1 assists in an impressive tournament showing.
Schroder has made the case for being a capable starting point guard. We’ll see if he gets the call at starting point guard for the Raptors, or if the team elects to go with Scottie Barnes instead.
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