The Toronto Raptors have officially exercised the fourth-year option on Scottie Barnes’ rookie contract for the 2024/25 season, reports Blake Murphy of Sportsnet.ca
Barnes’ salary for the 2023/24 season, approximately $8 million, was already set in stone.
This move now completely secures his $10,130,980 salary for the ’24/25 season, positioning him for potential eligibility for a rookie scale extension in the 2024 offseason.
At 22 years old, Barnes, the fourth overall pick in the 2021 draft, was named Rookie of the Year in 2022.
His second NBA season didn’t witness a significant leap, with him maintaining an average of 15.3 points per game for a second consecutive year.
Heading into the season, Darko Rajakovic, the new head coach of the Raptors, heaped praise on Barnes’ defensive abilities and boldly asserted that Barnes could one day clinch the DPOY award.
Coach Darko tips Scottie Barnes to win DPOY award someday.
Darko Rajakovic : “I think one day he’s going to be Defensive Player of the Year. That’s something he wants to be, that he wants to develop into, and I’m going to do everything in my power to help him on that path.” pic.twitter.com/b7dEsB4QaL
— NBArepublic.com (@nba_republic) October 24, 2023
For Rajakovic, the advancement of Barnes as a defensive player revolves around staying on the current developmental path.
He stressed the importance of constant learning about the game, understanding opponents, and having the capability to guard various positions, from point guards to centers.
Rajakovic added, “His game offers so much versatility; it’s truly remarkable.”
The Toronto Raptors also maintain a strong belief in Barnes’ long-term potential, as they reportedly refused to make him available in trade discussions involving Damian Lillard during the offseason.