Toronto Raptors: 3 sets of expectations for 3 young players in 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 15: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 15: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
Toronto Raptors, Summer League, Scottie Barnes
Aug 8, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Scottie Barnes (4) recovers a loose ball from New York Knicks guard Luca Vildoza (17) during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Will Scottie Barnes play a significant role for the Raptors in 2022?

Barnes has become the third player the Raptors have ever selected fourth overall at the annual NBA Draft. The previous two were Vince Carter (1998) and Chris Bosh (2003). Bosh is now a Hall of Famer, and Carter is a top 25 scorer all-time in the NBA. More significantly, both figured heavily into any on-court success the Raptors had in their rookie seasons.

Carter averaged 35.2 minutes and 18.3 points per game in a strike-shortened 1998-99 season and was the rookie of the year. Bosh averaged 33.5 minutes and 11.5 points per game.

Due to his physique, Barnes should be a small forward/power forward hybrid. However, that leaves him behind both OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam on the depth chart. Depending on how long it takes Siakam to return from shoulder surgery, he could get some extended minutes early in the season.

Scottie Barnes will get minutes from a variety of roles in his rookie season.

With a team emphasis on small ball, it’s possible at some point during the season that the Nick Nurse could run out a lineup of VanVleet, Trent, Barnes, Anunoby, and Siakam. Defensively, this lineup has the potential to disrupt the opposition immensely with its wingspan and quickness.

Barnes has an intensity and competitive streak that would make him quite effective even as the off-guard in such a lineup.

Yet, the Raptors might be better than most rebuilding teams, making it hard to project Barnes’s role on the team.

On a team that has versatile players, including Barnes, his minutes will come from various roles. How expansive Barnes’s role will remain to be seen, but a top-five lottery pick should play at least 25 minutes per game.

Next. 3 most untradeable players on the roster. dark