It was a chance meeting in a hallway days before the Raptors’ training camp began, the kind of encounter where they meet their teammate on a day off that they go through countless times in a season.

Pascal Siakam was heading one way, Scottie Barnes the other, and the usual salute might be a punch or a salute or some basic acknowledgment from a teammate.

“We were doing physicals and I was going out and he was in the hallway, and he was trying to give me one of those high blows (to the chest) like you do in the game,” Siakam recalled. “And I am like just walking on the premises; It’s like I won a game or something. ”

Welcome to Scottie’s world, where everything is new, fun, and exciting and energy runs through you like electricity, no matter how mundane the task is.

“I think he’s just an exciting kid, like it’s exciting to be around,” Siakam said. “He just has a great presence and is very, very fun to watch.”

Fast-forward a few days to the first time the Raptors went to court in public, an open fight in London on a Saturday afternoon.

It was the same players doing the same drills and fighting each other as they have done since the end of July.

But he was far from following the moves of the effervescent rookie Barnes.

“Today you saw Scottie screaming and jumping,” laughed his teammate Fred VanVleet after that 90-minute workout. “He (inadvertently) kicked someone so you never know what you are going to get.

“You never know what to expect, but you have to love just the raw energy and the hustle and bustle and just the guys who are excited to be out there, just that joy for the game.”

At the very least, in his short, short stint with the Raptors, the 20-year-old Barnes has infused the team with a youthful exuberance that has been absent in recent seasons.

“I’d say it’s me being me, it’s me on the court,” Barnes said. “I like to win. I like to make winning plays. I like to put my energy into practice.

“No matter where I am, I’m going to be who I am. That is what they are going to see me, be enthusiastic, bring positive energy to the team, encourage everyone, try to prepare ourselves for whatever we need ”.

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So far, and even the preseason is still in its infancy, Barnes’ enthusiasm has been impressive. He has a way of energizing players on the court with him, it helps him have an impact on the entire court. He’s young and excitable and if that allows him to have an impact on the game, that’s great.

“At this level, you can’t be shy,” he said. “You can’t be trying to look too cool. It’s just the dirty things you need to do on the floor, that’s what will have to happen.

“It is not so difficult. I am not a shy boy. I’m going to be who I am no matter where I am. ”

The thing about Barnes that allows his older, calmer teammates to embrace his excitable nature without rolling their eyes is the fact that he has shown that he has some very strong multidimensional skills that will help the team win games.

Coach Nick Nurse is convinced that Barnes will have a heavy load in his rookie season, changing all over the court. In just two preseason games, Nurse has used him as a main ball handler, power forward and forward, a kind of something for everyone that is a good fit for what the team was supposed to become the roster.

It’s what got Barnes loved by the upper echelons of the team long before Toronto chose him with the fourth pick in last summer’s draft. Team President Masai Ujiri, General Manager Bobby Webster and Director of Exploration Dan Tolzman have been following Barnes for years through appearances on national age group shows in the United States and for a year in Florida. State before they chose it.

They knew what kind of player, and person, they were getting, and they didn’t hesitate to make him the top pick in Toronto’s draft since Andrea Bargnani was the first choice in 2006.

Certainly there are parts of their game that need to be improved, but that’s not a problem for an organization that has proven its player development program to be one of the best in the NBA.

Barnes is still not a great NBA shooter by any means and his free throws are suspect, but he can have an impact on the game while still honing those skills.

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And that’s what will make him love his teammates, who were taken aback by his personality.

“It brings energy to everyone,” said OG Anunoby during training camp. “He is singing to the music, he is always dancing. It’s fun to watch, it’s fun to be around. ”

The act may already be aging rapidly, except that Barnes can back up his enthusiasm and outgoing nature with his play. Teammates notice kids talking big and playing small; They don’t see that in the six foot seven Florida native. It’s loud and energetic, but it’s good too.

“We all have to communicate with each other on the court and off it, so I definitely listen to him a lot,” VanVleet said after Barnes’ preseason debut Monday against Philadelphia.

“Even better than that, when you talk a lot you have to stand your ground so it’s great that he’s talking because now the spotlight will be on him even more with his teammates, so I think it was great for him and it’s been vowel since he got here. ”

Barnes’ impact has already made him a fan favorite even though he’s only been on the Toronto court once in preseason. But he also made it a hit with all of his teammates, including 35-year-old veteran Goran Dragić, who has seen some rookies come and go in his career and seems to have developed a unique relationship with Barnes.

“I mean, it’s really funny,” Dragić said. “It is so much fun. Good boy. Work hard, you know you’re going to watch him be the first in the gym, the last out. He has that personality that is unique, and I really like it. So we went out a couple of times. And yes, it does have a bright future. I can already see that. “


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