The Toronto Raptors have struggled to find any form of consistency this season.
The team is 9-14 and are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
The one bright spot for the Raptors this season has been Scottie Barnes. He has elevated his game in his third year and has taken the league by storm.
Barnes is putting big numbers across the board. He’s averaging 19.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. He’s doing it on 47.1 percent shooting from the field and a career-high 38.2 percent shooting from three.
Barnes has shown his elite two-way potential and his play has people believing that he will wind up being an NBA All-Star this season for the first time in his career.
ESPN senior writer Kevin Pelton made his early roster predictions for the 2024 NBA All-Star game.
He has Barnes being an Eastern Conference starter:
“Along with Maxey, Barnes is one of the leading contenders for the 2023-24 most improved player thanks to his third-year breakout. Barnes has boosted his usage rate from 20% to 24% with more ballhandling duties after Fred VanVleet’s departure, but his dramatic development as a 3-point shooter (38%, up from 29% his first two seasons) has improved his efficiency. Barnes is filling out the box score with 9.2 RPG and a combined 3.0 steals and blocks per game, the league’s seventh-best total.”
This is quite surprising that Pelton has Barnes as a starter over Jayson Tatum.
With all due respect to Barnes, Tatum is likely going to get the nod as a starter over him. Tatum is averaging 27.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He’s also playing for a Boston Celtics team that is 1st in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Raptors are 11th.
Nonetheless, this is some high praise from Pelton who thinks Barnes will end up as a starter.
Will Barnes make the All-Star game?
It’s unlikely that Barnes will be named an NBA All-Star game starter, but it’s not hard to believe that he will make the NBA All-Star team especially if he continues to play like this.
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