2. It’s Scottie Barnes time
Barnes was reportedly the biggest sticking point in Durant negotiations between Toronto and Brooklyn. The Nets didn’t want to trade someone like Durant without getting a long-term piece like Barnes in return, and Toronto didn’t want to give him up for a player as old and injury-prone as KD.
The fact that Toronto held their ground in a situation where many weaker-minded executives would have caved speaks to how highly they regard Barnes and his ability as a scorer and defender. Look for Scottie to improve upon his 15.3 points per game that he amassed as a rookie.
Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes is in for a big year.
Barnes has already been hard at work remaking his game as an all-around scorer, and the Raptors will likely give him every opportunity to showcase his stuff. Toronto has tied a big part of their future to Scottie alone, which is wise given how he performed.
Imagine, if you will, the horror of seeing Barnes in a black and white jersey for the next decade, putting together some All-Star appearances at the expense of a Raptors team who could have been saddled with an unsightly contract. Luckily, it seems like more cool, reasonable heads prevailed.