1. Scottie Barnes regression
No matter what happens in the team’s regular season schedule, the Raptors need to do everything possible to make sure that Barnes ends up becoming the star player they think he can evolve into. A regression would be a major death knell for Ujiri’s plan.
With Barnes having flatlined as a scorer last season and taken a very small step backward as a 3-point shooter, the idea of him never fixing the flaws in his game shouldn’t be viewed as something totally unreasonable. If he flounders, would a rebuild even make sense?
Will the Toronto Raptors develop Scottie Barnes?
Rajakovic seems ready to unleash Barnes in a position of prominence, leaning into his gifts as a ball-handler and playmaker. With Barnes himself allegedly clocking in at close to 240 pounds, he could make for a very difficult matchup problem against undersized backcourts.
If Barnes puts together another average season, the Raptors could feel some severe hesitation about the idea of ripping everything down to the studs and making Scottie the featured option. Rajakovic will have also failed in his quest to make sure Barnes thrives in his scheme.