TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors chose Florida State forward Scottie Barnes with the fourth pick in the NBA draft Thursday night.
The 6-foot-9 Barnes was the ACC Freshman of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year awards in his lone season at Florida State, averaging 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists.
Dressed in a floral-patterned white suit, Barnes leapt to his feet and pumped a fist in celebration when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called his name.
In choosing Barnes, the Raptors passed on Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, a freshman guard viewed as a potential replacement for All-Star Kyle Lowry, who is an unrestricted free agent. Orlando chose Suggs with the fifth pick.
Barnes, who boasts a nearly 7-foot-3 wingspan, is a talented and versatile defender. He’s an unselfish player who was a complimentary double-figure scorer in Florida’s State’s balanced attack, but he made just 11 of 40 3-pointers (27.5 percent) and 62 percent of his free throws.
Forced to play home games in Tampa last season because of border restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Raptors went 27-45, snapping a streak of seven straight playoff appearances that included the 2019 NBA championship. It was Toronto’s worst finish since a 23-43 mark in the shortened 2011-12 season.
The Raptors also hold consecutive picks in the second round, the 46th and 47th overall selections.
This was Toronto’s highest draft pick since 2006, when the Raptors chose Italian big man Andrea Bargnani first overall.
By IAN HARRISON