2. Scottie Barnes finishes second in Rookie of the Year voting
Barnes is fresh off a tremendous preseason in which he led the team in assists and averaged just over three assists for every turnover. The same people who doubted Toronto picking Barnes are now putting him right in the heart of the Rookie of the Year race alongside some of the higher picks.
Detroit’s Cade Cunningham and Houston’s Jalen Green have been regarded as the two favorites for this award, and it’s easy to see why, as they are elite scorers on bad teams that will let them shoot as much as possible. Even with that caveat, Barnes should be right in the thick of things.
The Toronto Raptors should let Scottie Barnes shine.
The odds are that one of those two hits their stride immediately and scores at such an exceptional rate that they become the ROY winner. However, if Barnes puts up numbers that are similar to what he did in the preseason and the Raptors start winning, he could beat out one of those two.
Scoring points is all well and good, but if Barnes turns out to be a major contributor on both ends of the floor for a team that made it to the playoffs, voters could easily consider that production more valuable or impressive than a higher scoring average on a lottery-bound team.