The Toronto Raptors are trying to bounce back from a season that saw them miss the playoffs for the time since the 2012-13 NBA season. What’s the key to them getting back on track? Scottie Barnes flourishing in his rookie season.
Toronto selected Barnes with the fourth overall pick in July’s NBA Draft. In Barnes’ one season at Florida State, he averaged 10.3 points, 4.1 assists, four rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. He showcased an ability to defend at a high level, finish in the paint and score off the dribble.
Scottie Barnes epitomizes the type of players that Florida State has sent to the NBA in recent memory, that being fundamentally sound two-way players with upside. That skill set is perfect for head coach Nick Nurse’s operation for a couple reasons: 1) the Raptors are a team with fundamentally sound players and 2) Barnes could be a new dimension to their offense.
Pascal Siakam has shown an ability to be a high-impact player with his defensive knack and multidimensional scoring. Fred VanVleet is a premier shooter and composed floor general. OG Anunoby has become a legitimate scoring option while still being a deadeye shooter and reliable defender.
Gary Trent Jr. is an energetic scorer. Chris Boucher is an athletic frontcourt scorer. Khem Birch is a smooth inside player. Malachi Flynn is an efficient guard who can defend.