19 year old 6’9, 227 pound forward out of Florida State.
Averaged 10.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.0 assists on 50.3% fg, 27.5% 3, 62.1% ft.
Scottie Barnes has easily the most unique skill set in the draft. When you see his physical attributes you see a combo forward and while he is partly that, he is so much more. There are very large portions of games where he is not only initiating the offense but also guarding the opposing team's point guard on the other end. I love this so much because whatever team he goes to will have many different options they can go to depending on the matchup lineup wise. If his team has a bad defensive player, you can put Barnes on almost anyone to hide a player. If his team doesn’t have a backup PG, then he can play stints as the main ball handler. This versatility makes him a very high floor player because he is plug and play in any situation. Going into that potential of him playing point guard his handle and vision for his size is elite. I mentioned that potential point forward role for Jalen Johnson but Barnes is far more developed in those areas than Johnson is. There is a large difference between someone who can just lead a fast break versus a player like Scottie who is a guy you can rely on as a primary playmaker. He has a great handle as his ball security is very impressive and he also has some nice moves to break players down. I think his upside as a PnR ball handler is sky high because he does a masterful job to navigate screens so he can create opportunities for his teammates and others. He has some of the best vision in the entire class as frequently he would make impressive reads that lead to open shots. His touch on passes also impressed me a lot as well. The understanding he has for not only hitting teammates but where to hit teammates in the right pockets showed his really advanced understanding of the game, some great examples of hitting backdoor cutters and lobs in there. There are actually some moments where I want him to be a little more aggressive because he is just so obsessed with playmaking. He is a dangerous player going downhill as his excellent athleticism and long strides make him very tough to stop with a head of steam, where he can either finish at the hoop or pass to teammates. This really showed out in transition where his best scoring comes from as he had some great moments using footwork and impressive touch to finish. His skills as a guy who can grab a rebound and take it the length of the floor also intrigues me a lot as he immediately has his head up, ready to push the break and get easy baskets. Moving on to his defense he has the potential to be the best one in this class. He is the most versatile defender in the class with legit potential to guard all 5 positions, something I do not say often. While his physical attributes are big for him being the great defender that he is, more than anything it is just how damn hard he plays that makes him so great. You will often see him guarding full court which will really exhaust his opponent throughout a game. He’s all over the floor, diving for loose balls and making momentum shifting plays. The kid is just so passionate about basketball, and that passion is infectious to his whole team. His very quick feet allow him to stay glued to almost any player on the perimeter, with him locking down some of the nations best perimeter players on a daily basis. His incredible length also helps in that area as it makes everything more challenging, whether that be getting by him, making a pass, or hitting a shot. Opponents only shot 32.7% when guarded by him, a phenomenal number. His 7’2 wingspan allows him to be a menace in passing lanes as well, with him getting a remarkable 2.4 steals per 40 and tons of deflections in there as well. While his block numbers are not very impressive on paper his overall help defense is great which is yet again due to his great basketball IQ. He has great understanding of the proper place/time to rotate and then he uses his great length to contest shots. He is a great communicator on defense as well. Whenever he is on the court the switches and rotations are always so much smoother because he is always telling the other players where to be. He had some great moments of showing off his physicality while guarding bigs on switches as well, showing off that 1-5 ability. I really think he could be a guy who makes 10+ all-defense teams and be in contention for multiple DPOYs.
My biggest worry with Scottie is shooting. In a league all about shooting that’s what separates 2016 Draymond from any other version of Dray. His lower body is the thing that needs the most adjustment. His very wide base leads to a slow release that he cannot ever find a true rhythm on. Defenders get much better contests than they should due to the lack of speed in his shot, especially off the dribble where his shot really struggled. His poor free throw percentage also doesn’t give me much hope unless there is a jump shot rework. As a whole his scoring with defenses set is something that is suspect due to him not having a very defined area where he is great as a halfcourt scorer. Due to him being a pretty stiff and awkward creator with not many defined moves to go to he settles for a lot of bad floater/push shots. His best ability scoring wise which is finishing is also held back significantly because of that lack of creation and shooting. With teams sagging off of him and going under screens he would need elite burst or dribble moves to overcome that but he is just not there quite yet. This weird skillset as a playmaker who’s scoring has a long way to go does give me some cause for concern that with the wrong coaching staff they could really limit him by not finding a defined role for him. His decision making is great for the most part but there are still things he can improve on such as cutting out jump passes or forcing passes to cutters. I only have one issue with him defensively and that is the fact that he is super jumpy, so when facing a good ball handler or someone who uses fakes effectively he can have some struggles.
What I Rate Him As A Prospect
Where He Fits Best
Cleveland Cavaliers: This is a very similar reason to why I think Jalen Johnson also fits great with this team. Giving the Cavs more playmaking and defense is huge for him in this draft, Barnes does just that.
Golden State Warriors: Having someone incredibly similar to Draymond Green getting mentored by the man himself would be great. He could slide in perfectly to Draymond’s role at some point and would bring the Warriors much needed playmaking outside of Dray and Steph day 1. The defensive versatility in a small ball front court would be crazy as well.
Minnesota Timberwolves: He brings them much needed defensive versatility with their last pick at forward in Jaden McDaniels. This could propel them into being a legit playoff team.
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