The Toronto Raptors are still doing cartwheels all over Scotiabank Arena after landing Scottie Barnes in the 2021 NBA Draft. His Rookie of the Year award remains a firm reminder of the fact his debut season was one of the most exhilarating campaigns in Raptors history.
Barnes averaged 15.3 points per game as a rookie, making fools out of all the haters who thought that it would take a long time for his offensive game to adapt to the NBA. With 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game, Barnes continued to show what a very unique player he can be at his best.
If Scottie continues to perform as well as he did during his rookie season, Barnes’ name will be plastered all over the Raptors’ record books by the time his career in Canada comes to a close. Given how diverse his game is, look for Barnes to potentially set records in several fields.
These three milestones are all within arm’s reach for Barnes if he ends up taking that next developmental step in the right direction. Barnes was drafted with the expectation he would be a record-breaker, and he’s well on his way to unseating some of the more memorable names in club history.
Toronto Raptors: 3 milestones Scottie Barnes could reach.
3. 500 Assists
Barnes was tabbed as a solid passer when he came into the league, but even the most optimistic projection of his game didn’t do justice to his showstopping distribution ability. After 256 assists in his rookie season, this year promises to be even more statistically proficient.
Barnes would end up at No. 22 all-time in Raptors history if he hits 500 on the dot, coming in right behind names like Cory Joseph, Andrea Bargnani, and Jalen Rose. If the Raptors utilize Barnes as more of a primary ball-handler, he’ll fly much further up the list than expected.
Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes is a tremendous ball-handler.
Barnes’ per-game assist totals don’t tell the whole story of how impactful he can be as a passer. Barnes regularly set Raptors Twitter ablaze with no-look passes in transition and cross-court heaves that prove his standout basketball intuition.
While it will be tough to rank very high on the assists per game leaderboards thanks to the presence of Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam, but he’s skilled enough to get his fair share of dimes in before the game ends.
In addition to Scottie and his climb, VanVleet and Siakam (both of whom rank in the top 10) should make some changes of their own to that all-time assist list.