High-End: Marques Johnson
Some younger Raptors fans might be unaware of who Johnson was, as he played in just 10 games past the age of 30 due to injuries. However, Johnson changed the game with the Bucks, as offensive innovator and Milwaukee head coach Don Nelson made him arguably the first true point forward in NBA history.
During his seven years with the Bucks, Johnson averaged 21.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game at 6-7 and 210 pounds. Barnes might be able to rebounds and distribute at that level as a rookie, but if he gets his scoring up, he might match Johnson’s five All-Star selections and three All-NBA nods.
Scottie Barnes should try to emulate Marques Johnson.
Johnson never won a championship, but the Bucks made the playoffs in all but one season of his tenure, including back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Finals. Barnes taking the reins as the primary scorer could jump-start the Toronto retooling and get them back into title contention.
There aren’t a ton of players that have Barnes’ skillset in NBA history, as you can count on one hand the number of 6-9 point guards that have ever existed. Johnson is one of the few point forwards who scored at an elite level, and Barnes could be in for similar levels of success.