Detroit Pistons 2021 Early Draft Profile: Scottie Barnes

Florida State Seminoles guard Scottie Barnes (4) Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Florida State Seminoles guard Scottie Barnes (4) Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons
Scottie Barnes #4 and RaiQuan Gray #1 of the Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Possible Pistons draft picks: Scottie Barnes’ strengths

At first glance, Scottie Barnes is a player with great reach and a very long frame. Standing at six-foot-nine, Barnes has a wingspan of seven-foot-two and a standing reach of nine feet. All of this length gives Barnes the ability to impact every play that he is a part of, whether it be on defense or offense, in transition, or through a set play. But while many players could have this type of frame, that may not necessarily mean that they can actually use these skills in the best way possible. In Barnes’ case, he uses all of these physical gifts to enhance his performance.

There are reels of a handful of Barnes’ games on YouTube from what will probably be his only season at Florida State. What makes these “highlight” reels unique, is that it shows every play that Barnes was involved in, whether it be good or bad. One constant I noticed throughout all of these videos was his strength around the rim. Barnes is a strong driver who will willingly make contact with defenders who meet him at the rim. In today’s game, where the two main scoring methods are three-point shots and scoring near the rim, being able to efficiently score near the rim can be very helpful for any team, no matter what.

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But that is not Barnes’s biggest contribution on offense. The greatest way that Barnes can help any offense is with the playmaking capabilities and putting his teammates in great opportunities to score themselves. His vision, which I think connects directly with a player’s basketball IQ and feel for the game, is elite and in addition to his size and length enables him to make many different sorts of passes from anywhere on the court. His vision and ability to set up teammates for success give Barnes the ability to be a point forward in the NBA. He already showed he can play point guard during his time at Florida State, which is impressive and a good sign for Barnes in his professional career. Overall, Barnes has a very exciting skillset on offense, but his defensive abilities are what really make him a compelling prospect.

On defense, Barnes has all of the skills to be a lockdown defender in the NBA. Even throughout his one year at Florida State, Barnes has shone a small glimpse of how terrorizing he can be on the defensive end. In one-on-one situations, Barnes is able to stick on any player whether they are a smaller guard or a larger forward. Even if he is not playing near the ball on a play, Barnes is able to keep a player isolated and remove them from a play. The biggest reason that Barnes is able to stick with such a large range is his long wingspan and his agile and quick feet. Barnes can also disrupt plays by getting into passing lanes and causing turnovers on a constant basis.