Scottie Barnes excited about Gradey Dick, Dennis Schroder joining Raptors

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 05: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 05: Scottie Barnes #4 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images) /

Scottie Barnes’ Toronto Raptors will have a distinctly different flavor in the 2023 season. Not only is Darko Rajakovic replacing Nick Nurse as the team’s coach, but Gradey Dick and Dennis Schroder have been added to the backcourt mix to counteract the loss of Fred VanVleet in free agency.

The Raptors knew they needed to get more juice on the offensive end, so adding a proven veteran sparkplug like Schroder on an MLE deal while using their first-round draft choice on Dick shows that Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster were proactive in addressing these issues.

Like all of the Raptors’ moves over the last few seasons, these transactions were done to ensure they can build a roster that best supplements Barnes’ strengths. In an interview with a local Florida paper, Barnes shouted out the recent first-rounder and his refined set of skills.

“He’s a kid that has played at a high level,” Barnes said, via The Palm Beach Post. “He brings a lot of energy to the game of basketball defensively. Offensively, he has a great skill set — catch and shoot, being able to get to the rim, being able to finish, being athletic.”

Toronto Raptors: Scottie Barnes likes Gradey Dick, Dennis Schroder

Barnes was very complimentary of Schroder, who helped rehabilitate his value after returning to the Lakers and playing a part in their run to the Western Conference Finals. Schroder’s veteran mindset is what Barnes is very appreciative of and excited to see n action.

“He’s a vet, been in the game for a long time,” Barnes said of the Sixth Man of the Year runner-up. “He knows the game’s ins and outs, so he’s going to bring that vet leadership.” Schroder may have bounced around to multiple different teams, but he has been a solid scorer at every one of those stops.”

Surrounding Barnes with a shooter like Dick and an on-ball scoring threat like Schroder will make sure that defenses can’t lock in on the former Florida State star. After thriving alongside bench lineups last season, Barnes might have better running mates to replicate that success with in 2023 and beyond.

Schroder and Dick should be good for a solid 20 points every night off the bench, which is better than the entire Raptors bench provided on a nightly basis. Those additions should help Barnes and the Raptors continue to thrive despite the loss of VanVleet.

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