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2021 NBA Draft Coverage: Scottie Barnes

If he can improve his jumpshot, the sky is the limit

ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament - North Carolina v Florida State Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

There’s always a player in the draft that if he can just get a good jumpshot, he becomes an elite player. Scottie Barnes is that guy in this draft. His comp is about as obvious it gets, Draymond Green. Barnes will likely play at the 4-spot in the league but can switch everything on the defensive end, and defend each position very well. Barnes will switch onto a guard on the perimeter and keep them in front of him, or he’ll drop and cover a big inside. That defensive ability will make him a perfect fit for any team looking to have an athletic defender to be a cornerstone of their team. On offense he’s got a handle with a knack for playmaking. The issue will be his developing jumpshot. If he gets that, he has a chance to be one of the most impactful players in this draft.

Stats and measurements

Age: 19

Year: Freshman

Height: 6’7”

Weight 225

Wingspan: 7’3”

PTS: 10.3

RBDS: 4.0

AST: 4.1

NBA fit

Barnes is a versatile player that can be slotted into a lot of positions. That type of versatility will make him incredibly valuable for a team looking for a defensive upgrade. If someone wants to define his position, offensively it will be the 4 spot but defensively it’s ... everything.

That defensive ability is incredibly tantalizing and, along with his tools and athleticism, Barnes brings a fire that every coach would love. He takes pride in his defense and loves making the winning play. His motor is fantastic and if he brings that same intensity to the NBA, he’ll be a winning player for years.

The only issue is the jumpshot. Though he shot 50% from the field, he only shot 27% from three. At the draft combine, Barnes did show an improved jumpshot and showed the playmaking and ballhandling at the 4-spot that makes him such a great prospect. But shooting in drills is much different than by NBA defenders. Can Barnes take things to another level?

How the Jazz get him?

Barnes stock is rising fast. It’s not surprising that a guy that does everything he can to win on the floor is doing everything possible to improve his game while he’s off the floor. If the Jazz want Barnes, they’ll need to trade up and that will likely take trading Rudy Gobert. If Barnes drops to Golden State or Sacramento, would they be willing to pass up their pick for Gobert? The Kinds may be willing because of the lack of playoffs for a franchise that has missed them for years. The Warriors might be interested in adding another all-star for what is likely the last few years of Steph’s prime. Even if the Jazz could get a trade like that to happen, it’s hard to see Barnes dropping, he’s as impressive as they come. But crazier things have happened on draft night.