Amit Mann is joined by Esfandiar Baraheni of theScore to project how many points, rebounds, assists and more Scottie Barnes will average in his second NBA season. Full video projecting the season averages of several Raptors is available on our Yahoo Sports Canada YouTube.
AMIT MANN: Any [? news ?] on Pascal or should we move to the reigning Rookie of the Year?
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Let's do it. Let's talk about Scottie.
AMIT MANN: Giddy up. All right, last season, 15 points per game, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 49% shooting on 12 field goal attempts, 30% from 3. Now, off of that, we know Nick Nurse has said it. More on ball reps for him. He wants to be a point guard. Scottie views himself as the next Magic Johnson. You got to love it.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: [LAUGHS]
AMIT MANN: What do you think his season is going to look like in his sophomore year?
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: So I think this is what fans are looking forward to the most in terms of what kind of jump he can make. A lot of people have brought up like, point totals, and rebounds, et cetera, et cetera. I kind of landed at this. I think he probably ends up averaging about 18 points a game. Probably gets the same amount of rebounds, maybe a little bit more. And I think his assist number goes up to about five. So it'll be 18, 18 and 5. That will be what?
AMIT MANN: Pretty damn good.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Which is pretty damn good, man. Which is really, really damn good. And like, that is one heck of an improvement. I think obviously improving the-- again, like Pascal. Improving the 3-point percentage, the free throw percentage is a huge thing. I think he-- you know, from the press conference, the Media Day Press Conference, he mentioned it a bunch. But he's been working on his pull up jumper and the catch and shoot jumper a lot more.
AMIT MANN: Yeah.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: And you know, obviously, we can't take everything with Rico Hines, the runs with the kind of thing. But it-- it was good. It looked good. The jumper looked more fluid. You obviously had a podcast talking about the evolution of Scottie's jumper.
So I think there is reasons to believe that his jumper will be better. And there are reasons to believe that his percentage in those areas will be better. I think he'll be a better catch and shoot guy. Obviously, we saw in game 6 against Philly. They were just leaving him wide open and daring him to take those.
AMIT MANN: It's brutal.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: I don't think it will be that type of thing any more for him. I think he has improved in that area. That was a very big learning lesson for him. So yeah, I would say those are the areas I think he improves statistically. But obviously, I think he gets better as a defender. I think he gets better. And he's obviously looked stronger, so he's going to be even more physical than he was last year. But those are outside of the statistical categories and development. I think statistically, what I said probably makes sense. But what do you think?
AMIT MANN: Well, first off, the body you're talking about. So he is much stronger. And the Kawhi comparisons are crazy. I posted a clip from Media Day. And I didn't even make the connection either. But when he was walking in to do his presser, he did this chin scratching thing just like Kawhi. And people are going crazy saying, he is becoming Kawhi. Look what he's doing. He's doing the chin thing. And he's got the muscle and everything like that.
Just let go. You guys are crazy.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Oh, my god. That's crazy.
AMIT MANN: It's like, he planned it or something like that. Like, no, probably not. I think you're-- I think you're on point with a lot of this. The rebounds, I thought maybe they go up to like, eight or something like that because if he is going to be exploring more as being the ball handler and coming up the court with it, probably there's going to be cases where simply he's going to be able to grab the ball and go.
And Nick wants him to do that. He wants OG to do that. We'll get to OG in a second here. But just that alone is probably going to help him get a few more rebounds. But then maybe the offensive rebounds dip a little bit because he could be used as a 3-point shooter more and maybe less in the dunker spot. That's going to come down to roles, right? Is Scottie going to have more of a defined role instead of being more of a reactionary player on the offensive side?
It was fruitful. It was good because he made a lot of smart decisions and he's very good with the ball. I would imagine the turnovers go up a little bit because he is going to be handling the ball more. But other than that, his highest assist points-- assists per game month was March. He had 4.3. And that was when you know, Fred was mostly out. I think that's a reasonable number too. But five, I think it's there for him, you know. And especially if the Raptors want to use him more in short real situations, go screens with OG and Pascal.
We talk about [? Funkle. ?] Let's get really funky with this. I want to see Pascal Siakam set a screen for Scottie Barnes, right? He's got those sight lines that are so unique for a player with his skill set, and he's got the passing ability to do it. So those are easy ways you can see him making those lob passes, the kick passes while he's driving. And if he's getting more rim pressure, the Raptors need it. God knows they need more players who can get just get edges on defense and get in the paint.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Absolutely, yeah.
AMIT MANN: And he's probably the second best player outside of Pascal. There's a huge drop off after Pascal, but Scottie probably is a next up to in terms of being able to get the defense collapsing.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Well, also just like creating something. I think Fred is-- Fred is good as well in that scenario. But in terms of like, the size and athleticism needed to be in there with the Giants in the paint and try to create something at the rim, Scottie and Pascal are leaps and bounds ahead of everybody else.
AMIT MANN: Sure. Sure.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: I think with Scottie, one of the more interesting things to look at statistically, and you brought it up, is the fact that like, yes, he's going to have more on ball reps. So we could also see the turnovers go up a little bit more. Because obviously, he's still young. He's still trying to figure it out. There will be nights where oh, he has four turnovers because he just-- the defense is giving him something that he wasn't necessarily prepared for. That's probably going to happen. It's the growing pains of what you see with a young star.
But I think the definition of his role will be a lot more clear because of the fact that they've already said this. Like, Fred will be playing off ball more. And I could see Scottie running bench lineups as the point guard. I could see it being Scottie, Otto, Gary, Precious, and Boucher. And that's like, that's your bench lineup. I know it's just technically one-starter or Gary-- if you're counting Gary as a starter, that's two-starters.
But that's a really fun bench lineup to have. Maybe you throw that in there sometimes to add a little bit more of a connective juice. But having Scottie there to create for that lineup, that should increase his usage rate. Not only that, but you know obviously, the assist percentage and everything that comes with it, playmaking wise.
AMIT MANN: And again, this goes back to the roles thing that-- that's going to be again coming up quite a bit is how do they want to use Scottie Barnes? Like, how on ball is on ball? Is he going to be like the de facto backup point guard or does Malachi Flynn get some minutes there? Could we see Gary Trent Jr.?
OG Anunoby getting more on ball reps, whether or not the point guards necessarily. But maybe they are-- maybe they are running a little bit more of a bench lineup with some of the guys that you just mentioned, right? Do they want to explore that? Do they trust OG with that responsibility? He said it in kind of that he wants more a bigger role in the offense. I mean, he kind of did. He kind of didn't, whatever.
But for him, for his progression in his NBA career, you want to become like expensive, a really expensive NBA player. The cap's going up. You want to get to $25 million a season. He's going to have to show that he's got some on ball reps, and he's able to create in different sections of the court, and not just be a catch and shoot guy and a dunker, right?
What about that in between area? Can you capitalize there? That's a difference for him, and I'm sure he wants to explore that as well. So that's another thing that Nick Nurse is going have to figure out. It's a great problem, a lot of good problems here.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: It's a good problem to have. Yeah, absolutely.
AMIT MANN: Yeah. And on the catch and shoot 3's last season, 29%, he shot 37% on pull ups. He loves his pull ups like you said. Brian McCann, his trainer, dude I spoke to during the off season. The conversations around how Scottie could improve offensively was just being able to bait and lure the person that's guarding him into exactly what he wants, right? And that's becoming more cerebral with your offense.
Like, Pascal Siakam has done himself, right? That's the next step for Scottie because the shots may not always be there, like he shot-- what, it was 12 field goal attempts. He had 12 field goal attempts last season. It could go up a little bit, but it's not going to go up by 10, right? That's just not the nature of the beast here.
But he can become more efficient. Like, he shot 49% last season. Maybe that gets to 55 or something like that, right, where his-- where his shots are skewing towards the basket from the dunker spot. He's hitting his 3's. He's got his pull ups. He's executing when it comes to mismatches. And there you go. He can get to 55%.
The growth is going to be there. He's going to be better. There's no reason to think he won't be. But it's like, how much and how many shots is he going to get? That's my biggest question.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Yeah, they haven't even-- you know, when you-- this is another kind of take away from Media Day in training camp. But they haven't even really mentioned what they expect from Scottie. And I think that's on purpose. I think it's-- you know, no expectations. Just go out there and be what you can be. Let's see how far you can really take it. Just kind of getting fruit--
AMIT MANN: Be all that you can be.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Be all that you can be. Yeah, yeah, I can't wait to be king, you know. Like the-- yeah, just go out and do whatever you-- whatever you think is possible. He's such an imaginative player. And he just plays with such freedom that it's like, they don't want to tamper with that. They don't want to mess it up and try to corner him into one thing. Go and figure out who you're going to be through these next 82 games, you know, so.
AMIT MANN: He actually is Simba.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Yeah, he really is. He really is Simba. I-- listen, run with that. Let's roll with that.
AMIT MANN: Yeah, exactly.
I was thinking about this because we've been talk-- we've been calling OG Anunoby, Prince Anunoby. Fair. He's also getting kind of older. He's obviously very young. He's like, 24-years-old. But the Prince is-- he's still a Prince at 24-years-old.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: True, true, yeah.
AMIT MANN: Right? And like, what do we call Scottie? Is he-- he can be Simba, I suppose. But is-- does he become the Prince or does he become like the love child? Does he become the new child? Is he your only born child? I don't know.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Yeah.
AMIT MANN: There's something there, but we've got to figure that out.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: We got to figure it out. We're good, yeah.
AMIT MANN: Yeah.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: The prophecy, what the prophecy foretell is we got to go on our "Game of Thrones" bag and see-- you know.
AMIT MANN: I'm thinking of Wu-Tang now when you said prophecy. The prophecies--
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: [LAUGHS]
AMIT MANN: Triumph?
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
AMIT MANN: Lyrically performed armed robbery. Flee with the lottery, possibly this part of me.
ESFANDIAR BARAHENI: Let's go, TikTok. I see you. I see you.