Unlike most prior seasons, the Toronto Raptors have been very active on the pro-am and summer scrimmage circuit in the last few months. Be it the Rico Hines scrimmages or events like the CrawsOver in Seattle, Scottie Barnes and Malachi Flynn have been motivated to hoop.
The Raptors are expecting significant years out of both of them. Barnes will be tasked with making sure that he takes the next step in his development, and Flynn is fighting for his NBA life as he tries to earn the backup point guard spot. The Ball Don’t Stop pro-am in Toronto seemed ideal for these two.
Between Flynn’s ability to rise up from seemingly anywhere on the court and Barnes’ freakish athletic ability, these two were destined to put on a show. They certainly did not disappoint, with Flynn in particular catching fire on the offensive side of things.
Flynn led the way with 54 points just a few weeks after showing off with a 73-point pro-am performance. Barnes followed the unofficial pro-am king with a tidy 34 points on the offensive end. Hopefully, the Raptors’ regular season looks a little something like this.
Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes, Malachi Flynn are balling.
Flynn has now scored 179 points in his last three pro-am showings. He managed only 189 points with the Raptors during the entirety of the 2021-22 season. This either shows that he’s stat-padding against regular joes or that he’s made the necessary adjustments in his game.
Flynn’s most significant issue in his pro career to this point was that he never matched the offensive prestige he showed off during his time at the collegiate level with San Diego State. It’s hard to say if this will translate, but Flynn does at least look better and more confident with the ball in his hands. That’s a positive.
Barnes, meanwhile, was doing more of the same things that made him such a beloved figure as a rookie. From flying to the rim and punctuating his drive with a thunderous slam to locking down the opposing team’s best player, it’s clear that Barnes is even better than he was before.
Both Barnes and Flynn stand as testaments that Toronto is committed to their approach of drafting elite young talent and working with them for as long as it takes. If both of these players can replicate their pro-am success in the regular season, winning 50 games shouldn’t be a challenge.