Magic Johnson compares Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes to himself

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 8: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 8: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors might not be playing well in their series against the Philadelphia 76ers, but it’s hard to do so when rookie sensation Scottie Barnes has been inactive or limited due to injury. Toronto now stands on the brink of getting swept by their division rivals.

Barnes has not looked like a rookie at all over the last few months, as he has quickly become an integral part of Toronto’s schematic designs. No matter what happens in this series, Barnes has proved to be a valuable long-term piece that may eventually contribute to a championship contender.

Barnes has earned some glowing praise from some of the best players in the league, which should help bolster his status within the league. Even one of the greatest players who has ever lived is heaping praise on the Raptors star by complementing his unique style of play.

Lakers great Magic Johnson was quoted as saying that Barnes can “do everything on the basketball court” and drew a comparison between Toronto’s dynamo and what Johnson became during his rookie season. That sort of praise is hard to come by from Hall of Fame immortal like Johnson.

Magic Johnson is a fan of Toronto Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes.

Barnes has averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game in the regular season. In his first playoff action, he was two assists shy of recording a triple-double before his ankle injury knocked him out. 2021-22 has been a fine debut for the Florida State star.

While Barnes is almost assuredly not going to reach Johnson’s plateau over the course of his career, part of the appeal of drafting Scottie was the potential he had as a two-way dynamo. He’s made good on that promise this season and set himself up for success next year.

If he wants to become an All-Star, Barnes needs to start showcasing the all-around scoring ability that Johnson had with greater frequency. A 3-point shot and more of a desire to dominate the ball on offense could do wonders for him in that area.

Players like Magic or Marques Johnson were forerunners of the point forward craze that is still sweeping the NBA. There is a new generation of players who are going to follow in Magic’s footsteps, and Barnes is one of the most impressive youngsters in this area. Expect big things in 2022 and beyond.

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