It’s June 22nd. Thunder fans across the state are sitting down, tuning in to the draft lottery about to be announced by Assistant Commissioner Mark Tatum. As the top 10 picks slowly dwindled down, hearts began to race, sweat began to pour… and then it happened. Thousands of Thunder fans, including myself, watched as Mark Tatum pulled out the team logo for the number 6 pick… and were shocked to see our own emblem beaming after coming out of that envelope. Hearts were broken and we were all in a state of complete and utter shock. No one expected us to fall as far and as hard as we did. Knowing how important this day was for all Thunder fans, we all fell into a state of disappointment that, for some, is still going on today. And that, my friends, is the point of me writing this article.
To be completely honest with you all, I had not done much scouting outside of the (basically) consensus top 5 prospects, those being Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs and Jonathan Kuminga. I was certain we would end up with a guaranteed shot at any one of those prospects. The thought of drafting the likes of Scottie Barnes was… in a sense, repulsive. After the lottery, that was when I realized that Oklahoma City fans, once again including myself, had become too entitled to a pick higher than what we receive. It wasn’t our fault… it had even been rumored that Presti, once having landed a basically guaranteed top 5 pick, would attempt to trade up for another. We had simply set our expectations too high. However, with that being said, after doing hours upon hours of scouting into the other prospects in this draft, I was absolutely mesmerized with the potential of one particular 19-year-old prospect out of Florida State. And that prospect is Mr. Scottie Barnes.
“The Scottie Barnes Crash Course”
Scottie Barnes is a 19 year old, 6’9″ point forward out of Florida State that, in the simplest terms possible, can basically do it all. 80% of the time he was out on the floor for the Seminoles, he was the playmaking point guard. In 24 appearances made, Barnes assisted on 31.5% of all buckets made by teammates when he was on the floor. He averaged nearly 17 points per 40 minutes played, along with 2.4 steals per 40 minutes on the defensive end, which was 8th best in the nation among all forwards, according to ESPN. At Florida State, Coach Leonard Hamilton has a tendency to even out the minutes as much as possible, and Scottie only averaged around 24 per game, which is just over half of an official NCAA basketball match. In most of his games played, Scottie came off the bench, but he still got plenty of time on the court. In a system like Oklahoma City’s, Scottie Barnes would most likely be competing for close to 33-34 minutes per night considering the caliber of the rest of the roster is subpar at best. When looking at Scottie’s stats per 48 minutes, his numbers increase by double what they were in college.
Scottie Barnes’ defensive prowess both on and off the ball is nothing short of stellar. As previously stated, Scottie was among the top 10 in steals per 40 minutes. Scottie grabbed 11% of all defensive rebounds when on the floor at FSU. As far as blocks go, he only averaged around 0.5 per game. However, being that he was guarding the perimeter for most of his games played, most of the time his opponent would not even attempt a shot against him (or would get it stolen away!). Defensively, Scottie Barnes is 100% there. Able to guard all 5 positions, it would not surprise me to see Coach Daigneault utilize Scottie at the center position in a small ball lineup.
Scottie averages almost 21 points per 48 minutes when on the floor. However, his jump shot is something that I believe frightens a lot of teams out of taking him. Averaging a mere 27.5% on three point attempts this season, Barnes definitely has some work to do regarding his shot. From inside the 3 point line though, Scottie uses his size and strength to almost bully his way into a shot that is close to the basket, and he makes 58% of his two point attempts. The offensive potential is there, but the current offensive game definitely has some work to do.
As far as his playmaking abilities, Scottie has excellent court vision, and he makes very accurate passes to his teammates leading into their shot. For a big forward to average 4.1 assists per game, you only have to wonder how he could do in an environment with better shooters on his team.
Offensive potential is 100% there for Scot. If Oklahoma City drafts him and can tap into it, then we will be witnessing Kawhi Leonard 2.0. Except, maybe with a little bit more of a personality than The Klaw.
Scottie has officially been worked out by Oklahoma City
Just a few hours ago, Scottie himself broke the news via Snapchat that he has been worked out by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Here is the image down below that has Oklahoma City social media raving already.
Scottie also posted a photo of his locker, and it is right next to Poku’s!
Things are looking good for us Thunder fans. It really is starting to look very likely that we will be seeing Barnes suit up for us come next season. Here are some highlights of his past season at FSU. How can you not love this guy?
Utilizing the 16th and 18th picks to trade up is almost inevitable
Sam Presti is known to be aggressive come draft time, and I still expect a trade up into the top 5 utilizing the 6th pick and potentially the 16th and/or the the 18th. Per Sam Amico, Presti is rumored to not want to draft any players at the 16th or 18th pick, because that would be two guaranteed contracts and roster spots given to two more young players. Even if we stay at 6, I do not expect Presti to not at least attempt to trade 16 and 18 up into the mid-late lottery for a better prospect. I would honestly say it is basically guaranteed. With a team like New Orleans or potentially Golden State looking to move one of their higher picks, a move with 16, 18 and maybe a guy like Isaiah Roby or Kenrich Williams into the top 10 seems very possible. And to be completely honest, if we stay at 6 and don’t trade the other two, I am totally fine with Scottie and two other solid prospects out of this loaded draft class. But regardless of what happens….
In Presti We Trust.