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#pounditSunday, October 2, 2022

Kevin Durant has huge praise for Raptors rookie

Kevin Durant in Nets practice gear

Kevin Durant came away very impressed with one opponent after Sunday’s win over the Toronto Raptors.

The Nets star singled out Raptors rookie Scottie Barnes for praise following Sunday’s 116-103 Brooklyn win. Durant praised Barnes for his “rare” basketball IQ, suggested that Barnes was already advanced by rookie standards, and predicted he would only get better.

Barnes is 20, for the record. He’s also very much earning the praise from the likes of Durant. Barnes had five steals on Sunday, and he’s averaging 16.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. His role may be reduced with the return of Pascal Siakam from injury. That said, Siakam has come up in trade rumors, and while the Raptors apparently don’t intend to trade him, Barnes’ emergence may test that stance.

Many observers were surprised when the Raptors took Barnes No. 4 overall in the June draft. It appears the organization may be having the last laugh.

Photo: May 8, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before game against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

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