RJ Barrett had a magnificent debut with the Toronto Raptors.
Barrett was involved in a 5-man trade which sent him and his teammate Immanuel Quickley to Toronto for O.G. Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, Malachi Flynn and a 2024 second-round draft pick (via Detroit).
This meant Barrett would be returning home and playing for the team he grew up cheering.
Barrett and Quickley made their Raptors debuts on Jan.1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers and both were named starters.
They got a warm ovation by the Raptors faithful before the game:
RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley get warm welcome in the 6 🇨🇦👏 pic.twitter.com/QbJ6ImxdUg
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 2, 2024
Barrett finished his Raptors debut with 19 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist on 6-12 shooting from the field and 1-2 shooting from deep. He went 6-8 from the free throw line, including hitting two clutch free throws late to ice the game for Toronto.
Barrett showed a lot of good things in 29 minutes of action. He was able to score in transition, attacked the basket and also showed off his playmaking ability.
He was pushing the pace when needed, cutting and spacing well, attacked the gaps and did a lot of good things defensively too.
Barrett was actually playing to his strength instead of camping outside the three point line in the corner.
If Barrett can continue to be aggressive and not try to do too much, while being able to consistently hit the three then the best may be yet to come for him.
After the win Barrett spoke about the homecoming reception he received from the crowd via TSN’s Josh Lewenberg:
“It meant a lot as the hometown kid coming in trying to get a win for the fans, trying to win for the country… This was special. Way better than any other time I’ve played here. This was a special one that I’ll always appreciate.”
Barrett looks to follow up on impressive performance
The new-look Raptors begin a tough six-game west coast trip starting on Jan. 3 as they will be taking on the Memphis Grizzlies who look a lot better since the return of Ja Morant.
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