Historic feat by Scottie Barnes proved Raptors made the right call to trade Pascal Siakam

Scottie Barnes is quickly etching his name in the history books in a post-Pascal Siakam franchise player era.
Indiana Pacers v Toronto Raptors
Indiana Pacers v Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages

The Toronto Raptors' 130-122 victory over the Indiana Pacers might've been their best game of the season as a cohesive unit. Gradey Dick has improved his game tremendously, scoring 18 points on 77% field goal efficiency. RJ Barrett took a lot of the scoring load too, with 24 points on 68% shooting efficiency. On a night where almost every Raptor (Bruce Brown was the lone player to have a poor night) performed at a high level, it was made ever so sweet by a new franchise record set by the team's marquee star, Scottie Barnes.

Scottie's stat line of 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists cemented his place in team history as the first Raptor to record four triple-doubles in a single season. Considering there are still 24 games to go for Toronto as of this writing, it should come as no surprise if the blooming Barnes can jot down a couple more triple-doubles on his breakout All-Star season.

Scottie Barnes making a historic leap this season proves trading Pascal Siakam was a no-brainer move.

Without a doubt, Pascal Siakam is a phenomenal player in his own right, and he's shown that with multiple All-NBA and All-Star selections. However, as much of a talented player as Siakam is, his fit around Barnes showed to be a bit wonky at times. There were certainly games where both forwards could maximize their skills together, but there were also instances where spacing issues became a detriment. Despite being great paint scorers, Siakam and Barnes were tasked with shooting more three-pointers to offset the lineup's spacing woes, to varying levels of success.

After Toronto dealt O.G. Anunoby to the New York Knicks, there was an added chip on Barnes' shoulders when it came to anchoring the team's defense and playmaking duties. On nights when Barnes is not in his groove offensively, you can bet he will shift attention to hustling for boards or finding his teammates accordingly. It doesn't necessarily mean Barnes doesn't try to score, but now with added dynamic scoring threats in Immanuel Quickley and R.J. Barrett, Scottie's all-around game is on full display with limited setbacks.

It hurt for many Raptors fans to see their beloved Pascal Siakam be traded, however, Spicy P's style of play is much better suited for the Indiana Pacers' current iteration under Tyrese Haliburton's leadership. There was certainly a scenario where a Siakam-Barnes duo could've worked, but the outcome of a post-Pascal Siakam world isn't looking too shabby either. And if Quickley, Barrett, and even Dick as it looks like as of late, can be the quality help Scottie Barnes needs to shine, there's no question Toronto will be a playoff powerhouse in no time.