3 reasons the Toronto Raptors shouldn’t draft Scottie Barnes


Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors

Florida State Seminoles guard and Toronto Raptors draft target Scottie Barnes (4) Mandatory Credit: Albert Cesare/IndyStar via USA TODAY Sports

It’s long been an assumption that with the No. 4 overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors will select one of either G League guard Jalen Green, USC center Evan Mobley, or Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs, who looks like the favorite. However, Florida State standout Scottie Barnes has slowly been gaining momentum.

Barnes might’ve only started just seven games during his time in Tallahassee, but teams are rightfully intrigued by his blend of versatility, athleticism, and defensive skills. A lock to be picked in the Top 10, the latest rumors are claiming that there is a chance Barnes goes even higher than that.

The Athletic’s John Hollinger (subscription required) claims that Barnes might actually be a better fit for the Raptors than a traditional point guard given his defensive ability, while Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman claims that there is a chance Barnes gets picked higher than expected. The buzz around him is real.

Barnes will likely be a tremendous NBA player, as there are very few 6-9 players who could take some reps at point guard due to their athletic ability. However, he may not be the best fit for Toronto for a multitude of reasons.

3 reasons the Toronto Raptors need to keep clear of Scottie Barnes.

3. His best position remains unknown

Barnes was listed as a power forward during his time at Florida State, but he was bringing the ball up and operating as a conventional point guard at times. There were even moments in which he operated as a small-ball center. That versatility will be his calling card at the NBA level.

However, Barnes might get the “jack of all trades, master of none” tag slapped on him, and without a defined role as a rookie, developing someone that might need to start the year on the bench to start his career might take even longer.

What position will Scottie Barnes play?

Barnes looks like an athletic forward, but the Raptors have that position locked down thanks to OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. At 6-9 and 227 pounds, he might be too small for full-time center work. While he can handle and distribute the ball, he lacks the offensive polish to start as a guard right away.

Barnes fans might try to spin this as a positive, as he has multiple paths to success in the pros and will be capable of plugging more holes than the average lottery prospect. However, pessimists might view this as confusing, as could make it tougher to create a defined vision for him in the NBA.