The Toronto Raptors might be thrilled with their selection of Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft based on his early glimpses in Vegas Summer League play, but that doesn’t mean that the folks who come up with the NBA 2K22 ratings seem to be aligned with them.
In order to take Barnes, the Raptors had to pass on Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs, who was selected fifth overall by the Orlando Magic. In the age-old draft question of finished product vs. upside, the Raptors decided to bet on Barnes’ potential rather than Suggs’ ability to hit the ground running.
The Raptors have become one of the most successful teams of the last decade on the backs of overcoming legions of doubters in the larger basketball media landscape, and it looks like they may have to add some more haters to the list after the ratings wizards weren’t as kind to Barnes as they were to Suggs.
Barnes was given a 76 overall rating in his first 2K appearance. That makes him the fifth-best rookie, with the three players elected before him having overtaken him. Suggs also ended up ranking ahead of Barnes, as his 77 overall trumped the Florida State dynamo. Looks like Barnes has some more doubters to prove wrong.
Toronto Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes was ranked below Jalen Suggs
Both players were expected to show that they were two of the outright best players in the Summer League, and their statistical achievements prove that they accomplished that goal.
Suggs averaged 15.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game before a thumb injury sustained in the middle of his third game forced him to shut it down. Raptors fans might’ve started to shake their heads in disgust if Barnes didn’t put up an even more impressive stat line.
Barnes averaged 15.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 2.0 blocks per game, showing off the fact that he can impact the game in multiple ways on both offense and defense with a confidence that belies his age.
While we’re not in the 2K rating decision room, it’s likely that Barnes’ poor 3-point shooting at this juncture likely played into Suggs getting the better rating. If he makes strides in that area, he could jump over him by the end of the season.
2K ratings are obviously not the best barometer of evaluating talent, but players can care deeply about how they are perceived in this game. Who knows, maybe an already hyped-up and motivated Barnes will look at the rating and do everything in his power to pump it up?
Watch for those roster updates! If Barnes starts taking games over like the Raptors think he will eventually be able to, he won’t be a 76 for long.