The Toronto Raptors have been all over the place when it comes to tanking for a higher draft pick this season.
Despite resting Pascal Siakam on a night with Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet both out due to injury, the Raptors somehow dismantled the Cleveland Cavaliers 135-115 on Saturday night before dropping another close one to the New York Knicks on Sunday.
It's created a very up-and-down feeling for the fanbase who remains somewhat split on whether Toronto should focus on the lottery this year or go for it and try to sneak into the play-in tournament.
All that being said, there are still plenty of mock drafts to take a peek at including Jonathan Wasserman's latest for Bleacher Report.
The Toronto Raptors select Scottie Barnes from Florida State University
With the seventh pick in Wasserman's 2021 NBA mock draft, the Raptors select freshman Scottie Barnes out of Florida State.
Barnes is a 6-foot-9 forward who averaged 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and shot 50% from the floor in 24 games for the Seminoles. He did, however, struggle mightily in the NCAA tournament, scoring a total of just 18 points in three March Madness games.
"Part of the sell here is that he’s a great passer, but that’s proven a bit less functional when he’s asked to initiate offense off the dribble," Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo wrote of Barnes in his mock draft. "Defensively, he’s almost certain to be a positive, with great length and good instincts that cover for average athleticism. The flipside is that Barnes’s role projection is rather narrow, considering the limited chance he becomes a good jump shooter. If he does fix his shot, he’s probably a starting-level player. But his present lack of NBA-caliber utility on that end makes selecting him in the top 10 a bit of a leap of faith. Barnes’s stock is in a bit of flux, but he becomes a better value play in the late lottery."
As a defence-first player, Barnes certainly fits Toronto's system. He would add another versatile, long, and tough defender to the Raptors who already have Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby holding down the wings. That being said, he might be too similar to what Toronto already has with defensive-minded players who lack offensive firepower.
If Toronto continues to win games and moves further down the lottery standings, Barnes might be a good fit for the Raptors even if his offensive upside is somewhat limited.