Scottie Barnes won the Rookie of the Year award at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season, and there's no doubt that he has a lot of potential. Barnes averaged 15.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 3.5 APG for the Toronto Raptors last season. Notably, Scottie Barnes showed that he can be a multi-positional defender that can use his physical tools to his advantage.
Recently, the defensive ability of Scottie Barnes was on display during a Rico Hines basketball run. Barnes was guarding Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden on the perimeter, not giving the star guard an inch and eventually forcing him into a bad shot.
There is no doubt that the saying "defense wins championships" often has merits, and we have rarely seen a team that is absolutely poor on defense win a championship, if at all. The Toronto Raptors are notably a defensive-minded squad as well, and their top players are generally viewed as players who are defensively sound and can execute Nick Nurse's defensive scheme to perfection.
Hopefully, we see Scottie Barnes develop into the superstar that the Toronto Raptors want him to be. The Raptors have refused to include the promising rookie in a trade package for Kevin Durant thus far, and it is clear that they are very high on his ability.
"I don't think they would trade Scottie (Barnes) for Kevin Durant with the age factor. I mean the Raptors are definitely very excited about the future of what that guy could lead them to one day."
The Toronto Raptors have notably been missing a player that can be a true No. 1 option on a championship-caliber team since Kawhi Leonard left the team. Perhaps Scottie Barnes can become that player in a few years.
As of right now, though, we'll have to wait to see how Scottie Barnes' work manifests itself next season. We can likely expect some sort of jump from Barnes, but it remains to be seen how big it will be.