The upcoming 2021 NBA Draft is looming around the corner and several teams are looking to retool their rosters, especially those which are in the lottery this year. A prospect who has gained significant momentum in many draft boards is former Florida State standout Scottie Barnes who has already emerged as one of the most intriguing players in the incoming rookie class.
In his one-and-done season in Tallahassee, he posted averages of 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 24 games played for the Seminoles in 2020-21. With Barnes’ unique combination of size, length, and playmaking skills, many teams will surely be happy to have him on their corner for next season.
Here are the three best destinations for the 19-year-old heading to the upcoming draft proceedings:
As of the moment, the Cleveland Cavaliers already have a promising backcourt duo in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. Though the former is already being involved in multiple trade rumors, he remains to be a Cavalier up to this day until a deal officially pushes through sometime in the near future.
Regardless of Sexton’s situation, the arrival of Scottie Barnes would still complement the team’s lineup. If Sexton gets traded, the Cavaliers would have a bigger player who could handle the playmaking duties alongside Garland. Meanwhile, if he doesn’t, then the team would have a better balance on their roster as they would get a versatile forward in Barnes who can be a spark plug on both ends of the floor, while also having both Sexton and Garland handle the playmaking duties.
The Cavaliers targeting Barnes would also give them flexibility as they can trade down a couple of spots back and acquire more assets while also getting a talented prospect for their rebuilding efforts. If Cleveland wants to advance turn their fortunes around soon, then they should definitely take a hard look at Barnes and the intangibles that he brings to the table.
Similar to Cleveland, the Sacramento Kings already have a solid 1-2 punch in De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield at the helm. Barnes potentially landing with the team would benefit him as he would have an elite point guard who thrives in a fast-paced type of offense which will also complement his playing style.
At the same time, Barnes’ size and length would be a tremendous help for the Kings, considering that the team has a thin frontline unit. They can definitely take advantage of his versatility and athleticism to get extra possessions and run the break along with their backcourt players led by Fox.
As of the moment, Scottie Barnes is still considered raw and would need more time to develop, especially on the offensive end. He should have a good chance of fitting in with the Kings, given that the team is nowhere near a win-now situation and he can take his time to improve along with his youthful peers on the roster.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Another team that has recently embraced a youth movement is the Oklahoma City Thunder. Similar to the Cavaliers, the Thunder are also uncertain regarding the situation of their starting point guard in Kemba Walker who is expected to be traded to another team prior to the start of next season.
If the four-time All-Star gets relocated, then the Thunder should heavily consider grabbing Barnes with their sixth overall pick. His playmaking skills would surely help spread the ball across the floor, given that the team has a handful of promising pieces on their roster.
Additionally, Scottie Barnes would also form an intriguing combination with another young talent in Aleksej Pokusevski who is a 7 footer who can put the ball on the floor and set up plays for his teammates. With Barnes also having good size and a similar playing style, the Thunder would surely pose a ton of mismatch problems against their opponents if they get to acquire him in the draft.
Heading to the 2021-22 NBA season, the Oklahoma City Thunder have already ramped up its rebuilding efforts led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lu Dort, and Darius Bazley. Scottie Barnes would definitely serve as another good addition to their current group of promising youngsters who are expected to unleash their potential in the years to come.