1. What does the season entail for Scottie Barnes?
The Raptors are leaning on Barnes to be one of the select few around whom the Raptors are going to base their attack on both ends of the floor. Their performance will be inexorably tied to how he plays in the next few seasons, as Barnes has been unofficially dubbed the maypole around which the Raptors will gravitate.
It’s hard to find much to complain about from Barnes’ rookie season save for some largely harmless rookie mistakes and some poor shooting that Toronto knew was going to be a problem when they drafted him. He’ll take a step forward this season, but by how much?
The Toronto Raptors are counting on Scottie Barnes.
The Raptors will need Barnes to get his efficiency up, demand the ball more offensively, and cut out the mental miscues on defense. While most teams would be willing to give their prized youngster a ton of leeway in order to accomplish those goals, the Raptors don’t have that luxury with Barnes.
The nature of last year’s 48-win campaign, and the impending big-money extensions that names like VanVleet and Siakam will sign, means that the Raptors need to win now. Toronto is placing a large burden on this 21-year-old’s broad shoulders, but he has the combination of talent and resolve to get the job done.