Since winning a championship in 2019, the Toronto Raptors haven’t had sustained success. Of course, shortly after the title, the team lost Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who spent one season in Toronto before signing with the Los Angeles Clippers. The following season, the Raptors reached the Eastern Conference semifinals, but they’ve only made the playoffs once in the subsequent four years and finally committed to a rebuild this season.

They’ve lost the stars from the 2019 title run, though one of the bright spots in recent years has been Scottie Barnes. The Raptors selected him with the 4th overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, and he quickly proved his worth in winning Rookie of the Year. This past season, he made his first All-Star team.

He’s consistently improved across most basic and advanced stats. He’s increased his scoring, rebounding, assists, and blocks each season, and his usage percentage and assist rate have risen every year. He also shot a career-high 34% from three-point range.

Put it all together, and it’s clear Barnes is a key part of the Raptors’ future. And they’re rewarding him with a max rookie extension that could be worth up to $270 million, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The contract is guaranteed to be worth $225 million and is the richest in Raptors franchise history. If Barnes wins MVP or makes an All-NBA or All-Defensive team, the deal will increase to $270 million.

Barnes turns 23 in August and will now become Toronto’s cornerstone piece as the team looks to return to playoff prominence. He led the team in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks this year, even though he missed the final 22 games—a quarter of the season—due to a broken hand.

The Raptors will try to add a complementary piece in the draft. Toronto’s own first-round pick, the 8th overall selection, was part of the Jakob Pöltl trade in 2023 and belongs to the San Antonio Spurs. The Raptors did acquire Indiana’s pick when they traded Pascal Siakam to the Pacers, so Toronto will pick 19th. They also have the 31st pick, the first of the second round.

Barnes’s extension can’t become official until July 6, when the NBA’s moratorium lifts for signing or re-signing players. Still, it’s got to feel mighty comforting to know nearly a quarter of a billion dollars—and perhaps even more—is coming your way.

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