It has become abundantly that Scottie Barnes is the building block for the Toronto Raptors.
As Toronto nears a crossroads with this core, if they decide to enter a rebuild, Barnes will be at the forefront.
After some stagnation from his rookie to sophomore year, Barnes’ third season has been what Raptors fans expected. He has been shooting the ball efficiently shooting 49.4% from the field and a career-high 38.1% from 3-point range.
Teammate Gary Trent Jr. talked about the growth he’s seen from Barnes’ game through the last three years, via Adam Laskaris of Daily Hive:
“His approach, his mindset, his understanding of every game [is better]. He has a few years under his belt now, where he can score on the offence now, where he can succeed on the defensive end too. He’s been amazing He’s been everywhere. He’s taken that next step. And he’s trying to push us with him as well to that next step.”
When drafted in 2021, he had the reputation of being an above-average defender, but the offensive skillset was in question. Barnes has certainly silenced those concerns by the way he is scoring right now.
It is great that Trent Jr. is seeing him taking strides both mentally and physically as a player. Barnes recently had a gem of a performance in a loss to the Denver Nuggets. He put up 30 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists.
When Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard were available, the Raptors were in the mix, but they were reluctant to give up Barnes in any deal. It is proving to be the right decision as it looks like he will be the cornerstone for Toronto for many years to come.
The sky is the limit for Barnes as he still hasn’t reached his fullest potential being 22-years-old, which should excite Raptors fans for future seasons.
Toronto will build around Barnes and Pascal Siakam likely to be moved
While Barnes is playing at an All-Star level right now, the Raptors are struggling with an 11-16 record.
Time is expiring on this current core and it might be the time to pull the trigger on a trade. It is rumored that Toronto will build around Barnes and likely trade Pascal Siakam.
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