Scottie Barnes' sales pitch to the Toronto Raptors was simple: draft me because I'll bring the defensive intensity that you're looking for.
It's not hard to see why the Raptors — an organization that prides itself on its defense — have reportedly become so enthralled with Barnes. He is exactly the kind of player Toronto and Nick Nurse have fallen in love with. He's 6-foot-7 with a crazy 7-foot-2.75 wingspan and can guard just about anyone on the basketball court. Pairing that kind of length with OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam is certainly something to get excited about.
Earlier in the week Barnes worked out for Toronto and was put through a series of shooting drills, he said. Considering Barnes shot 27.5% from three-point range last season it's not hard to figure out why the Raptors wanted to see what his form looked like up close.
"I would say my workout went pretty fine, it was a good workout," Barnes said Friday.
That shooting is going to be Barnes' make-or-break skill. He knows it needs to improve but even at this point he possesses almost everything else you could hope for in a draft prospect.
"I bring energy, I bring a defensive mindset, I bring a winning culture of basketball, I bring my playmaking ability," he said. "I bring all these different things, the little things that help teams be able to win games."
Toronto is going to need to decide if Barnes' shooting is fixable. By all accounts, he has the kind of work ethic coaches rave about and will certainly put in the hours to improve his shot. But can it be done?
To Barnes, if anyone can help, it's the Raptors.
"Their player development is great," he said. "You see a lot of young players coming to the league and immediately just get better, no matter if they're in a G League player at that time or just NBA players, you just see the player development with so many young guys."
If the Raptors can work their magic again, a Barnes-Anunoby-Siakam lineup would pose serious problems for opposing offenses. Moving the ball against three players with seven-foot wingspans isn't going to be easy. But offensive creation has been a problem for Toronto lately and Barnes certainly isn't going to be a player to alleviate those woes.