The 2021 NBA draft will take place Thursday, July 29 with the Detroit Pistons holding the No. 1 pick. The Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic round out the top five selections.
We take a look at some of the prospects available in this draft, gauge their strengths, weaknesses, NBA comparisons and best landing spot within the player’s projected draft range. Here’s a breakdown for Florida State forward Scottie Barnes.
Barnes made an impact in every facet of the game when he played at Florida State, excelling primarily as a playmaker and rebounder. He’s a defensive force as well with the ability to pick up multiple positions. He’s only 19, meaning his development curve is a lot bigger than older prospects. Barnes is the perfect do-it-all role player who will deliver good minutes from Day 1.
The biggest issues is Barnes’ lack of offense, specifically a perimeter shot. His free throw percentage is not great and his three-point shot needs a lot of work. If his offensive game can’t take the next step, his upside takes a substantial hit. He likely won’t get many in-game opportunities to build on this part of his game, meaning his development behind the scenes is paramount.
The obvious comparison is Draymond Green, but so many prospects who have been compared to him in recent years haven’t panned out to be like him. For me, Barnes is similar to Lamar Odom as a fluid forward capable of defending multiple positions and making plays outside of scoring. Odom didn’t have a three-point shot but was a key cog on multiple championship teams. Barnes can have the same trajectory.
Best Landing Spot
The forward is expected to be a lottery pick, but will likely slide to the tail end of the group. The Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers can all benefit from a player of Barnes’ potential. The Spurs are most likely to get Barnes the offensive skills he needs to a star in the league, but all three offensive units should be a good fit for his current abilities.