The 2021 NBA Draft started as expected. Cade Cunningham went first overall, shocking, I know. However, after the top three picks of Cunningham, Jalen Green, and Evan Mobley, the NBA world was surprised. With the fourth pick in the draft, the Toronto Raptors selected Scottie Barnes. With Jalen Suggs still on the board, NBA fans, especially Toronto fans, were left scratching their heads. Fans took to social media to express their confusion. However, I am telling you to breathe and wait before passing judgment.
Scotties Barnes is Not a Bust
Too Early to Call
Barnes is celebrating his 20th birthday on Sunday, and judgment is being passed on him being taken ahead of Suggs. However, while it is true that Suggs may be the more ready NBA player, Barnes needs time. Barnes played in 24 games his freshman year at Florida State University. Of those 24 games, he started just seven. Barnes averaged 10.3 points, 4.1 assists, and 4.0 rebounds in 24.8 minutes played per game. However, those are respectable numbers for a freshman. What everyone is worried about is his efficiency. Barnes shot 50.3% from the field and a dismal 27.5% from three and 62.1% from the free-throw line. However, Toronto fans need to stop worrying that they just drafted Ben Simmons ahead of Jalen Suggs.
Trust the Organization
The Raptors have one of the best front offices in the league. Furthermore, Toronto’s player development is unmatched. If there was a perfect place for a prospect like Scottie Barnes, Toronto is it. It has been reported for weeks that Barnes had attracted the attention of multiple NBA teams. Obviously, Barnes showed something in his pre-draft workouts that made an impression league-wide. After the Chicago Bulls shocked the NBA world by taking Patrick Williams at the fourth spot, Williams would go onto make the All-NBA Rookie team. There is a lot of offseason remaining, who knows what deals will be made. Which players will end up where. And if Scottie Barnes remains in Toronto, the Raptors, the city, and the fans will welcome him with open arms.
Scottie Barnes is not a bust. At least, not yet. Only time will tell.