1. Scottie Barnes
The Raptors had opportunities to shake things up and move off Barnes, as they were connected to Kevin Durant last offseason and have come up on the fringe of the whole Damian Lillard circus. The fact those offers have been rebuked speaks to what the team thinks Barnes can become.
While Barnes started to stagnate on the offensive end last season, the hiring of Rajakovic was done to maximize Barnes’ potential. With an offensive background and a history of turning young players into studs, Scottie has a solid infrastructure in place around him.
The Toronto Raptors are committed to Scottie Barnes.
Imagine a world in which FIBA World Cup star Dennis Schroder becomes the team’s Sixth Man, and Barnes is the de facto point guard. His natural gifts as a passer could take full stage in that case. If his 3-point shot takes a step forward, he could be enough of a scoring threat to draw defenders further out of the paint.
Barnes is not going to become an All-NBA talent overnight, but it’s hard to watch him for very long and not see the potential Toronto is currently enraptured by. The Raptors will try to win with Barnes, no matter how many teams try to get on the line and try Hail Mary attempts at pilfering him away.