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2021 NBA Draft Rumors: Raptors Considering Scottie Barnes at No. 4, Could Trade Pick

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 21, 2021

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors are reportedly open to trading back from the No. 4 overall pick in next week's NBA draft.

Sam Vecenie of The Athletic reported the Raptors are not 100 percent locked in on Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs and could consider Florida State forward Scottie Barnes or trade back. A move back in the draft could be geared toward landing Barnes while getting assets in return for moving back a couple of spots.

Barnes is projected as a top-10 selection and could go as high as No. 5 if the Raptors pass on him.

The 2021 draft is seen by many as a four-player class, with Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Suggs potential future foundational players. There is a clear drop-off after those four among most evaluators, but Barnes is a potential two-way force with length, off-the-dribble skills and a high motor. If he improves his shot, the Florida State produce could be a perfect modern-day forward who can defend four positions.

The Raptors have a strong record with player development and could unearth Barnes' potential, even if he's not as NBA-ready as Suggs, who is widely considered fourth in the Big Four pecking order.

Toronto is heading into a potentially franchise-changing offseason with Kyle Lowry set for unrestricted free agency. If Lowry walks, it could be a sign the Raptors are planning to move forward with an on-the-fly roster retooling around younger players.

The Raps' draft decision may be a peak into their future. 

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