3 Draft Day Scottie Barnes takes that were laughably wrong

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors is presented with the Rookie of the Year trophy (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors is presented with the Rookie of the Year trophy (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
1 of 3

The Toronto Raptors went against the grain in the 2021 NBA Draft, as they selected Florida State forward Scottie Barnes when everyone expected them to take Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs. Following the departure of Kyle Lowry, many assumed Toronto would try to draft the best available backcourt player to fill the void.

Many had their doubts about how long it would take Barnes to evolve into a star, myself included. I had some concerns about what his offensive game was going to look like in the NBA. Just one year into life the NBA, Barnes shut up everyone who doubted him and anointed himself one of the game’s best youngsters.

Barnes won Rookie of the Year in his first season, averaging 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. Evan Mobley and Cade Cunningham gave him one heck of a challenge, but Scottie ultimately prevailed thanks to his exploits coming within the context of helping a playoff team.

As Barnes gets ready to start a second season that everyone expects to be better than his original campaign, it’s always fun to look back on the deluge of misplaced hate that the Barnes pick received from the media. These three takes from right around the draft have aged like milk in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

Toronto Raptors: 3 laughable Scottie Barnes takes.

3. Scottie gets a C-

Barnes was viewed as such a raw prospect that a team with designs on immediately winning would be foolish to use premium draft capital on him. The folks over at Uproxx were subscribers to this theory, as they were livid at Masai Ujiri’s audacity on draft night.

The selection of Barnes was given a C- by Uproxx, calling him “virtually a non-shooter.” While there were some concerns about his offensive game as a whole, rating him that low makes it seem like Barnes wasn’t even expected to be a lottery pick. That’s perhaps a bit harsh.

Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes was judged too harshly.

While Barnes wasn’t exactly Ray Allen from deep, making 30% of his triples is fairly solid for someone who rarely looked to rise up from deep in college. Already a tremendous finisher and playmaker in transition, concerns about Barnes’ offense appear to have been overblown.

Had Barnes come into the draft with a more respectable 3-point shot, there’s a good chance that he would not have been available for Toronto to select. The Raptors correctly guessed that it would not take long to get him up to speed, and they have been rewarded with a budding star.