The Toronto Raptors have never had a player quite like Scottie Barnes.
Sure, they’ve had two other players pick up the NBA Rookie of the Year award in Vince Carter and Damon Stoudamire. They’ve had young star talents in Tracy McGrady and Chris Bosh, and they’ve had franchise cornerstones in DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry.
But whoever you talk to, just about everyone will agree: there’s a little something extra when it comes to the 20-year-old Florida State product.
In their own words, here’s what Raptors players, coaches, and president Masai Ujiri had to say about Scottie Barnes’ rookie year over the course of the past week.
“He’s just got a whole crash course on what it’s like [to play in the NBA]. I think he had probably as good of a year as you can have as a guy in position. He got a ton of minutes and got to experience every position both offensively and defensively.”
Gary Trent Jr:
“He seemed to grow from day one of training camp to in the season. It was tremendous, things that he was able to showcase, things he was able to do this first year alone, you know, sky’s the limit. After a summer of work, after getting a season under his belt. I can’t wait to see him come back next year… he can be whatever he wants to be.”
“I was really proud of Scottie, just seeing his work ethic and the things that he’s able to do all year, just being able to be out there and work every day and [seeing him] put the work in. And I just hope that he continues that.”
Here was #Raptors coach Nick Nurse's answer on Scottie Barnes in the pre-draft process compared to his rookie season:
"He was checking all the boxes from probably the moment I first met him."
Says @FSUHoops coach Leonard Hamilton referred to him as the "best secret in the draft." https://t.co/tSqjvv0Zej pic.twitter.com/TzHCVwfWOc
— Adam Laskaris (@adam_la2karis) May 2, 2022
“He was checking all the boxes probably from the moment I first met him. I talked to his college coach and he couldn’t have said more great things about the guy about how much he loved to play and his personality, how great a teammate he is all the things he can do, and how he thought he was maybe the best secret in the draft. When I met him, he was he’s the same and he stayed that way almost all year long…. there’s a lot to love about Scottie, that’s for sure.”
“We are incredibly proud of Scottie and are thrilled and grateful that his hard work has been recognized with the [Rookie of the year]. What you see on the court is exactly who Scottie is: enthusiastic. Joyful. Athletic. Skilled, and a winner. We – and our fans — loved seeing his development through this season, and we can’t wait to see what the future brings.”