Raptors roster proves Scottie Barnes will be unleashed at PG

CLEVELAND, OHIO - MARCH 06: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - MARCH 06: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors have plenty of stars worth watching in the 2022-23 season, but none of them are as magnetic and show-stopping as Scottie Barnes. With the size of a power forward and handles of a point guard, Barnes is quite the chess piece for Nick Nurse to work with.

Toronto saw Barnes win Rookie of the Year after spending 2021-22 as a critical cog in the machine of a team that won 48 games one season removed from being in the lottery. 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game are numbers that stand out for a 20-year-old rookie just two seasons removed from playing high school ball.

Very few, if any, teams in the league make versatility and multiplicity as much of a hallmark of their playing style as Toronto. Barnes landed with the perfect team, and the Raptors are continuing to accentuate his talents by putting the ball in his hands as much as possible.

The Raptors listed Barnes as a guard-forward on their official depth chart heading into the 2022-23 season. The fact that he and post center Khem Birch are the same size, yet Barnes will be utilized as a primary ball-handler, speaks to what a unique talent No. 4 can be.

The Toronto Raptors could use Scottie Barnes at point guard.

The issue of who will be the team’s backup point guard has been fairly contentious. Dalano Banton and Malachi Flynn both have stated their case for inclusion in the rotation, but neither of them was overly impressive last season. Barnes is clearly the high-ceiling option of the three.

Barnes was essentially the point guard whenever he was on the floor at Florida State. While that may have made him a bit of a puzzling evaluation for some teams that lack confidence in their player development, Toronto was able to turn Barnes into a hybrid forward who exemplified the best of both roles.

Barnes may not have the shooting one would expect out of a point guard in today’s NBA, but he’ll make up for it with his uncommon athletic ability, tireless defensive impact, and supreme passing skill. Using Barnes in this role will help Toronto get the most out of him.

The Raptors know that their future is tied to Barnes, so why not choose to plug a weakness in the second unit by throwing him out there and letting him learn as he goes? If everything clicks for Barnes in that role, Toronto could reach new heights as an offensive club.

Next. 3 biggest worries Raptors fans may have in 2022. dark