The Toronto Raptors’ breakout third-year player will not be going to the All-Star game. As the Raptors kept on losing games, it seemed increasingly possible that Scottie Barnes would be left out of the dance. The Raptors are currently 17-30, 12th in the East and with the sixth-worst record in the league. Ultimately, that swayed coaches, as there are so many players having phenomenal seasons this year.
Don’t get it twisted, though: Barnes is one of those players having a phenomenal season. His current per-game averages are 20.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks. Perhaps the points don’t pop — averaging 20 don’t mean what it used to — but his abilities across the board border on unique. To that point, the 20-8-5-1-1 slash line has only been accomplished by 12 players in NBA history, including this year’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and Barnes himself.
But such is life. Embiid and Julius Randle will have injury replacements named for them, although Trae Young is almost assuredly going to take one of those slots. It’s hard to know if Barnes is the frontrunner for the other. Barnes is deserving, but the Raptors didn’t do him any favours in the hunt in winning only 17 games to this point.