Scottie Barnes is rewarding the Toronto Raptors for the faith they placed in him as the fourth-overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft, emerging as a leader on a young team with his mature and intelligent game.
And while numerous members of his draft class have also impressed in their rookie seasons, many around the league have been drawn to Barnes’ strong start.
NBA legend Charles Barkley, regularly seen on TNT’s popular Inside the NBA panel, even went as far as saying that Barnes has the NBA Rookie of the Year award in the bag already.
— Raptors Front Office (@RaptorsFO) November 12, 2021
In 11 games this season, the 20-year-old is averaging 16.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.7 percent from the field, leading all rookies in each of those categories. Barnes put the league on notice with a 25-point, 13-rebound, seven-assist, five-steal and two-block performance against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 25.
Raptors Scottie Barnes is 1 of 2 players since 1985-86 with 170+ points and 85+ rebounds while shooting 50% or better in first 10 career games (Shaquille O’Neal)
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) November 11, 2021
It may be early, but if Barnes keeps up with the pace he’s set, Barkley’s bold take could easily become a reality. It would also make the Raptors forward the third recipient of the award in franchise history, alongside Damon Stoudamire and Vince Carter.
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