The Toronto Raptors know they have a special talent in Scottie Barnes, as his improvements as a shooter and defender this season has given Masai Ujiri the confidence he needs to tear everything down and rebuild it once again with Barnes at the center of it all.
It's a shame the rest of the league doesn't see it that way, as a bad Raptors team around him seems to have done irreparable damage to his status as an All-Star candidate. Despite solid numbers, Barnes was not invited to join the rest of the league's best in Indianapolis.
Barnes was not named to the All-Star team, losing out to names like Julius Randle and Paolo Banchero. This will break a string of what would have been three straight seasons with a Raptors All-Star, as Fred VanVleet's lone ASG big and Pascal Siakam's most recent weren't followed up with Barnes getting the nod.
Toronto Raptors stud Scottie Barnes snubbed for 2024 All-Star Game.
Barnes has averaged 20.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game this season. While defense is not well-regarded in All-Star game talk, he still managed to put up 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. Cooling off in January after a red-hot December may have worked against him.
Barnes has put these numbers up while playing for a rookie coach with a lackluster bench around him. With Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby gone, Barnes has had to see most of the defensive attention focused squarely on him. Even with those qualifications, Scottie has thrived.
With Randle and Joel Embiid possibly missing the All-Star festivities due to a shoulder and knee injury, respectivelty, there is a chance that Barnes could be on the shortlist to replace them. However, that is still up in the air, and he will be competing with some very impressive names for that honor.
It's hard to make an All-Star Game when you play for one of the worst teams in the league, and it's even harder to do it when that bad team plays for a small market. Barnes learned that lesson the hard way, though Raptors fans know just how spectacular he has been this season.