Another MLS season is upon and as usual, the league is well-positioned with much talent and star power. There is already the rush for the Future Hall of Famers to follow the lead of LeBron James, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant who still remain at the centre of the basketball universe, according to some gamblingsitesreview.
At Toronto Raptors, four youngsters seem destined for stardom. With an average age of the 17 players on their opening night roster 24.5, Raptors is the seventh-youngest team in the NBA. If you subtract 35-year-old GoranDragic, and at some point this season they might, they would be the fourth youngest.
The hope of the team lies in this emerging generation. With the support of some established names such as Fred VanVleet, Khem Birch among others, these quartets could begin that journey to greatness this term.
1 – Scottie Barnes
Barnes was four years old when Kyle Lowry broke into the league. The youngster who clocked 20 in August was the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Barnes dished out a team-high 28 assists in preseason. He had five or more assists in all but one game. He turned the ball over just nine times, including seven dimes in a turnover-free game against Washington to end that series of exhibitions. He averaged 9.8 points, 5.6 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocked shots on 46.8% shooting from the field in five games. He led the rookie class in assists, while he also paced the Raptors in that category.
Although he may have only managed below 10 points per game, the fact that he led the team in assists and averaged just under five rebounds per game proved that he will impact this team.
2 Justin Champagnie
Unlike Barnes, Champagnie wasn’t drafted partly due to his unusual player profile. Yet he has found himself in the perfect position to potentially carve a nice niche out in the league. Despite being listed at 6-foot-6, Champagnie averaged the eighth-most rebounds per game (11.1) in the country in his sophomore season at Pittsburgh.
The 20-year-old was identified as a player that could spend a large chunk of his time with Raptors 905 in the G League, but he’s been so impressive in the eyes of Nick Nurse that Champagnie has averaged 21 minutes per game in the preseason. He racked up 7.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game in the preseason, flexing his muscles on both ends.
Justin is a great rebounder with a relentless motor and a nose for the ball. In the game against the Philadelphia 76ers, he had 10 rebounds, and he averaged over 9 rebounds per 36 minutes in Summer League as well, including an 11 point 11 rebound double-double against the Brooklyn Nets. Standing 6'7" and weighing 205lbs, Champagnie also has the ability to guard at least three positions on the floor: PF, SF, and SG.
3 - David Johnson
The 47th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Johnson still remains the least-known quantity of the picks. This is somewhat new for Johnson, who has spent his basketball life in a local spotlight. The 20-year-old could just be Raptors’ best-kept secret yet.
Johnson finished his sophomore season at Louisville as the only player in the ACC among the top 25 in both rebounding and assists. The 6-foot-5, 203-pound player ranked second among guards in standing reach (8 feet, 8 inches), tied for second in wingspan (6 feet, 10.5 inches), fourth in the three-quarter sprint (3.03 seconds) and tied for fifth in a max vertical leap (39 inches).
He averaged a team-second 12.6 points with 5.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 19 outings last season while shooting 38.6% from the perimeter. "He's really a good passer, got good vision, and he's really improved as a shooter," ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said as footage of Johnson played on the broadcast. All stats have been checked by online blackjack.
4 - DalanoBanton (21)
Banton was selected by the Raptors with the 46th overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-9 point guard who had intrigued pro scouts for years, thus, became the first Canadian ever drafted by Raptors with 2nd-round selection.
Banton recorded the second triple-double in Nebraska history when he posted 13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over Doane College. In 58 combined games played at Western Kentucky and Nebraska, he averaged 6.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. He also shot nearly 40 percent from the field and 24 percent from the three-point range.