While the outside world may have been shocked by the Toronto Raptors’ decision to select Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, inside the league it might not have been such a surprise.
Toronto was made some “incredible” trade offers on draft night, general manager Bobby Webster said. One of those offers reportedly came from the Oklahoma City Thunder who were looking to move up in the draft to take Barnes, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.
Despite having a boatload of future first round picks including No. 6 and No. 16 in 2021, whatever the Thunder offered clearly wasn’t enough to pry Barnes away from Toronto who decided to make the Florida State product the selection at No. 4.
“I think he’s kind of a multi-faceted, multi-positional two-way player,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said following the pick. “We want two-way guys who are versatile. He’s all of that, and he’s young. I’m excited, man. I liked him. Got to know him a bit, all those kinds of things. It’s a great pick for us.”
While may have been unwilling to move down on draft night, the Raptors were reportedly trying to make a last-minute attempt to pry the No. 3 pick away from the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Toronto was presumably interested in USC’s Evan Mobley but couldn’t quite convince Cleveland to move the pick.