Toronto Raptors: 3 rotation decisions to make in training camp

PORTLAND, OREGON - JANUARY 11: Fred VanVleet #23 and Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OREGON - JANUARY 11: Fred VanVleet #23 and Pascal Siakam #43 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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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. How many minutes does Scottie Barnes get per game?

Most questions and conversations about the Raptors have to include heavy discussion about the No. 4 overall pick, and this one is no different.

As mentioned previously, Barnes is a high-ceiling, low-floor player with quality defense and wingspan whose offensive game is gonna require A LOT of polishing and reworking. So what’s the sweet spot in terms of playing time for Barnes?

The answer is as much as possible. Barnes showed the potential for the type of all-around, versatile game in his Summer League debut, displaying a level of confidence that says he’ll do better learning from his mistakes on the court more than watching from the bench.

The Toronto Raptors need to get Scottie Barnes some minutes.

The important thing is not to expect too much, because Scottie will expect the world of himself. Barnes’ jump shot is going to be inconsistent, he’s going to miss reads as he adapts to the speed of the NBA, and his intensity may lead to him getting down on himself after a bad game.

Ultimately, the best idea would be to get Barnes on the floor for 20 minutes a game. As a guy who was only taking 8.1 shots per game at the collegiate level, Nurse and the Raps vets will need to help facilitate Scottie’s offense, and you can’t commit too much time to that while trying to consistently win.

More importantly, they need to be in his ear when he’s off the floor. Barnes will learn a lot on the fly as he makes mistakes and takes in the flow of the game, but if he can commit 20 minutes on the floor and a full 48 minutes mentally immersed, the Raps should come out of training camp excited for what the future holds.

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