Scottie Barnes' All-Star bid on last legs after disappointing player vote

Barnes might not make it to Indianapolis.
Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors
Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Toronto Raptors haven't had a ton to smile about this season amid all the trades and losing, but fans can at least take solace in the fact that Scottie Barnes has improved to the point where an All-Star season is by no means an outrageous goal.

Barnes has taken a big step forward in just about every category this season, so much so that Toronto felt comfortable trading away OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam to build around him. It's a shame the media, players, and fans don't seem to appreciate what he's been doing in Toronto.

Barnes finished 11th in All-Star votes from among Eastern Conference frontcourt players with 21, which puts him in a tie with Siakam and Julius Randle. The Top six seemed fairly set in stone, but names like Mikal Bridges, Kristaps Porzingis, and Jarrett Allen ahead of him could at least be up for some debate.

Barnes was 10th in voting from fans, barely beating out Bridges. He did not receive a single media vote, which is a sharp fall for a player ESPN was projecting as an All-Star starter just a handful of weeks ago. If Barnes is going to make it to Indianapolis, the coaches need to be sold on him.

Toronto Raptors' Scottie Barnes faces long All-Star odds.

Barnes faces three death kneels emblazoned upon his All-Star resume. Not only are his raw points per game numbers beneath some of the players who received more votes than him, but he is also playing in a small market on a losing team. It's hard for some to take that into account and still vote for him.

However, Barnes' numbers are certainly All-Star worthy. Barnes is averaging 20.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game, all of which are career-best marks for the third-year dynamo. With 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals per game, Barnes has quickly become a defensive juggernaut the voters must acknowledge.

Barnes has been doing all this on a team that has needed to overcome some depth challenges and schematic issues in Darko Rajakovic's rookie season. This would be the first season since the Tampa sabbatical without a Raptors All-Star, as Fred VanVleet and Siakam made it in back-to-back seasons.

With the star power gone and the rebuilding underway, Raptors fans need to prepare for more of that old-school anti-Raptors bias from the national basketball media. Barnes might get swept up in that despite the fact his production certainly warrants a trip to Indianapolis.