Barnes projects to be a big part of the future in Toronto as the organization begins life without mainstay Kyle Lowry. The team will rely on several players to fill the void of Lowry, and Barnes will among them in the backcourt.
“His role is going to be huge,” Nurse said. “I’m sitting here from Day 1 to give him as many minutes and reps that he can handle. I think his impact of defending, rebounding, running, spirit, enthusiasm and size get him in the mix early and often. He’ll stay in there often and late.”
The fourth overall pick brings tremendous skills to the court. He flashed his ability to play at a high level on both ends of the floor in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 15.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, two blocks and one steal.
Barnes was given high praise by teammate Goran Dragic as the veteran noticed he is often the first in the gym and the last to leave. He has put in plenty of work in the gym since the conclusion of summer league and it should ensure he sees plenty of playing time.
“I think that he is really improved,” Nurse said. “Obviously, we worked on his shooting right away from Day 1 and has really taken to it. The mechanics look really good. It just takes a little time to get super comfortable and get those mechanics on autopilot. We’ll work on the scoring and figure out where we can get him the ball and where he can get some chances and things like that.”
Barnes hasn’t been with the Raptors very long but is already leaving quite an impression on his teammates and coaches. He brings immense energy and effort each time he steps onto the court and, with a large role on tap, he will likely be impacting games on a nightly basis.
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Source: Yahoo Sports