Raptors: Evan Mobley, Scottie Barnes both compliment Toronto’s culture

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 20: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 20: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors looked like a lock to end up with Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs with the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, but both USC center Evan Mobley and Florida State power forward Scottie Barnes have entered the mix over the last few days.

Suggs looks like a point guard that can solidify the position for a decade, but Mobley would be a potential game-changer at the center position. Barnes offers the versatility to be a distributing point guard and a small-ball center, even if he is a bit on the raw side a the moment.

Toronto is doing their due diligence on both prospects, as they want to make sure they absolutely nail the highest pick that this franchise had has in over a decade. If nothing else, both players sound like they would love the idea of playing in Toronto.

Mobley made special mention of the Raptors player development as one of the benefits of being drafted by them, while also throwing in a nice compliment of the city of Toronto. Nice touch, rookie.

Barnes brought attention to the fact that players like Chris Boucher, Fred VanVleet, and Pascal Siakam all took major steps in the right direction after they entered Toronto’s system. Could Barnes be the next great success story? He seems to think so.

Will the Raptors draft either Evan Mobley or Scottie Barnes?

Mobley would not only fill a position of need, but he’d give the raptors an instant contributor on both sides of the ball due to his athletic ability and offensive refinement. However, with the Cleveland Cavaliers yet to completely commit to Jarrett Allen at center, it’s entirely possible that he comes off the board with the No. 3 selection.

Barnes has been a late riser that, on paper, looks like an ideal Raptor given how he can guard any position on the floor and attack the basket in transition. While those traits would make him a quality selection at pick No. 4, concerns that he might be too much of a project on offense to invest such a premium pick in do have some merit.

Developing both of these players well will be critical towards making them a success irrespective of who drafts them. Mobley needs to add weight and work on his low post moves, while Barnes needs to become at least an average jump shooter and shot creator.

Toronto has turned players much rawer than these two into stars before, and all the evidence suggests they’ll be able to do it again with either the Trojan big for the Seminole switchblade.

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