2021 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Scottie Barnes

2021 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Scottie Barnes

by May 28, 2021 2 comments

Scottie Barnes is one of the most intriguing players in the NBA Draft. The 6’9” forward offers a mostly complete game and although he came off of the bench at Florida State, he won many awards. Barnes made the All-ACC Third Team, All-ACC Freshman Team, All-ACC Tournament Second-Team, and won the ACC Sixth Man and Rookie of the Year awards. Let’s take a look at the skill set of one of the top forwards in the draft.

Make sure to check out all of our other NBA Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Scottie Barnes

Position: Forward

School: Florida State

Age: 19

Height: 6’9”

Weight: 227 lbs

Prototype: Two-Way Forward

Defense (29.5/30)

Barnes’ defense is the most intriguing part of his game due to his size and ability on that end. On the ball, Barnes is a physical defender. He does a fantastic job by making his opponents uncomfortable since he uses his length (7’2” wingspan) well and size to cover the floor. Barnes can play defense on all five positions and have success, which makes his defense arguably the best in the class. Off the ball, he is good at reading passing lanes and making heads-up plays. Barnes does struggle a bit with lateral movement and may have trouble guarding point-guards at the next level, but his length makes up for it and if he is switched on to one, he will likely have success most of the time.

Finishing (9.5/10)

The best area of Barnes’ offensive game is scoring in the paint. Barnes is crafty when it comes to scoring at the rim. He uses his length very well when finishing and takes long strides when attacking the basket. In transition, he uses the euro-step well to pass by defenders and lay it in for easy buckets. He is also athletic so he can throw the ball down from time to time, but he tends to use his soft touch more often to score inside.

Perimeter Shooting (6.5/10)

If Barnes becomes an above-average shooter, he has the potential to be one of the best players in the NBA, but he was not consistent from behind the arc at Florida State. Barnes has shown flashes of good shooting ability, but he is far from being a competent shooter as of now. He shot the three 27.5% in his one season in college. Barnes has a solid shot and succeeds when his hips are lined up, but he struggles when rushed to shoot the ball.

Ball Handling (7/10)

Barnes does not rely on fancy moves when he has the ball in his hands, and he does not need to. Much of his scoring is done inside of the paint where he attacks using his size, strength, and length. Barnes’ ball-handling is an average trait, but one that his strengths make it so he does not have to rely on it.

Passing (9.5/10)

Barnes’ passing ability is one of the most underrated areas of his game. He can make terrific passes in transition or the half-court. Since Barnes is a threat in the paint, he forces defenses to collapse when driving. Barnes is a high-IQ player so he recognizes this and can find the open man on the perimeter. In transition, he understands when to pass and when to take the ball to the hoop himself which is important at the next level.  At times, Barnes can be too aggressive and get caught in no man’s land, but his passing ability is above average.

Rebounding (8.75/10)

Barnes is a good rebounder, but he can still improve in this area. Since he plays with a lot of hustle, Barnes is often in the paint and ready to grab rebounds. He uses his length and size well to grab boards and he picked up 4.0 per game in his one season at Florida State.

Athleticism (9/10)

As mentioned throughout this report, Barnes is one of the most athletic players in the 2021 NBA Draft. Barnes is a strong forward who uses his strength and size well on defense and when finishing at the rim. He can back down players who are smaller than him to score in the paint. Barnes uses his length and strength to play up close and make the offensive player uncomfortable on defense.

Injury (9/10)

Barnes suffered a minor ankle injury that sidelined him for very little time, but aside from that, his injury sheet is clean.

Bonus: Potential (+4.75/5)

Barnes is a player with a high floor and a high ceiling. His defense makes his floor very high and his blend of length, finishing, and passing ability makes his ceiling high as well. The biggest knock for Barnes is his lack of a three-point shot which is needed in the modern NBA, but overall he has a complete game that should translate well to the next level.

Player Summary

Barnes is mocked to be selected in the top ten of almost every mock draft, and it is clear why. The 6’9” guard possesses one of the most intriguing skillsets of a player of his size. Barnes passes the ball well, can score in the paint, and play defense at an elite level. If Barnes can develop an above-average three-point shot in the NBA, he could be one of the best players in the NBA, and if not, he still has a very high floor.

Final Grade (93.5/100): Top-Five Pick

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Kamran Nia is a journalist from Los Angeles, California.

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