The Raptors are not having the season they set out to when the tournament began, as they desired to be a title-contending force but in reality sit five games under .500, and five games back of the sixth seed. This is probably the reason why there have been rumors surrounding the team about dissatisfied players wanting to be traded out ever since the transfer window opened.
Well, Toronto’s management haven’t hold back either. The latest reports suggest that they’ve made every single player available to trade except for Scottie Barnes. TSN’s Josh Lewenburg from Canada was the latest to assure the Raptors are open for negotiations.
“Teams are coming to them, they’re listening to offers, and with the exception of reigning Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes – who remains off limits in trade discussions – everything is on the table, according to sources.”
Barnes is only 21 years old, but he is already one of the most complete players in the NBA, averaging 15.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.0 steal and 0.9 blocks per game on 46.0% shooting from the field. The sophomore is highly regarded for his versatility, proving he is able to defend as much as he can attack.
Most importantly, the city loves him. All fans agree he should be the last to be sold, just as his squad enjoy him as a teammate on court or in the locker room. In other words, the player is just in his second year for the Raptors but has the profile to become a franchise cornerstone who could potentially play for Toronto for the following 10 years.
He’s even getting praised by other coaches and players beyond the Canadian border. The latest was four-time NBA Champion Draymond Green from the Golden State Warriors, who believes Barnes’ potential overshadows his own talents.
Draymond Green offers high praise for Scottie Barnes pic.twitter.com/ltQL6noB4t
— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) January 28, 2023
While Barnes is the only player that Toronto consider to be “off limits”, we’ve heard endless trade rumors surrounding Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby, which would make them the most likely candidates to leave before February 9th.
This past week, OG Anunoby reportedly “wants out of Toronto” as soon as possible, just as Gary Trent Jr. started the year with a desire to leave, but now Raptors are said to want to re-sign him considering the player is now “happy’ again at the club. One thing for sure is, if these transfers actually do happen, young Barnes would have to assume a larger offensive role.
The internal situation in the Toronto camp is best explained in the following video:
As we’ve seen with the Jazz so far this season, selling your top athletes doesn’t always mean the team will become irrelevant, especially considering coach Nick Nurse is leading the way and the team’s development staff have done a great job finding potential stars in players that people didn’t expect.
Scottie was recently selected for his second spell in the next Rising Stars
The player who was drafted as the 4th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft out of Florida State has just earned his second selection for the Jordan Rising Stars on All-Star weekend in Salt Lake City.
— #NBAAllStar (@NBAAllStar) January 31, 2023
The reigning Rookie of the Year will headline the sophomore team in this year’s showcase, as he is the only player competing in his second year as a professional to record a 15 ppg, 7 rbg, and 5 apg.
The Toronto side will now face the Rockets tonight in Houston at 7:00pm CST, as the Raptors rank 12th in the East with a 23-30 record.