‘Sheesh’: Kevin Durant Impressed With Raptors’ Rookie Scottie Barnes

Published 11/07/2021, 9:25 PM EST
Nov 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) talks with guard James Harden (13) during the third quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA saw one of the most talented draft classes this year. With there being questions on the production of almost all top picks, many other youngsters are living up to the expectations. Some rookies have already made a name for themselves as they take on a major role on their team. Notably, Toronto Raptors’ Scottie Barnes is heating up as he puts up big performances every night. Recently, even Kevin Durant realized just how good Barnes is.

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Currently, Scottie is leading the race for the Rookie of the Year honor. His size and strength have allowed him to dominate the game on both ends of the floor. Moreover, if his offense wasn’t enough, he is a perfect defender as well. Barnes came up as a blessing for Toronto as they received a player similar to Kawhi Leonard.

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Recently, Barnes matched up against Kevin Durant and gave him a really hard time. So when his name came up in the post-game interview, Durant’s reaction showed just how good the forward is at his young age.

Kevin Durant has immense praise for Scottie Barnes

Barnes is quickly emerging as one of the top players on the Raptors roster. Being 6’7, the #4 draft pick can run the floor like a guard. Moreover, his strength is also off the charts as he showed it by forcing the Cavaliers’ Jarett Allen to flip upside down. The 20-YO is a big favorite to win ROTY and for good reason.

In the matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, Barnes was on his defensive best. Going up against offensive threats such as Kevin Durant and James Harden, He gave the veteran star duo a tough time.

While he ended with just 8 points on 7 shots, the youngster accumulated 5 steals on the defensive end. Post game, Durant couldn’t believe that Barnes is just 20 years old. The 2x NBA Champion exclaimed, “How old is he? 19? 20? Sheesh.”

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While it isn’t a lot of words, Durant was clearly impressed by the rookie. Giving one of the best offensive players a hard time in just his first year, there is no doubt Durant is shocked. Currently, Barnes is averaging 16.7 points, 8.7 rebounds while shooting 52% from the field. If Barnes continues this form, he would become the sure pick for ROTY.

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Do you think there is a better rookie than Scottie Barnes? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

544 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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