The Ups and Downs of Scottie Barnes

Having Mixed Feeling….

Draft Riser, and potential top 5 pick Scottie Barnes posted a OBPM of 4.3 and a DBPM of 3.6. Here are some wings who were drafted in the first round and posted similar numbers:

  1. Kelly Oubre, former 15th pick
  2. Stanley Johnson, former 8th pick
  3. De’Andre Hunter, former 4th pick
  4. Josh Jackson, former 4th pick
  5. Miles Bridges,  former 12th pick

This is very bleak, especially when you people are starting to name him a guy who could creep into the top 5 even top 3 of the draft. Both Johnson and Jackson have been busts! Bridges and Hunter should be fine players in the NBA, but certainly not stars.

Defensive Metrics

Barnes posted a DBPM of 3.6, defensive rebound rate of 11, steal rate of 3, block rate of 2. First rounders with similar metrics

  1. Freshman Josh Jackson, but a way better rebounder, former 4th pick
  2. Sophomore Chuma Okeke, more rebounds, steals and blocks, former 16th pick
  3. Sophomore Kyle Anderson, with twice the amount of rebounds, former 30th pick
  4. Freshman Chris Singleton, also a Florida State guy, former 18th pick, lasted  3 years in the league
  5. Mikal Bridges, former 10th pick

Again, not a lot of optimism. Apart from Bridges, who is an very good wing defender. The tools are there with Scottie, in fact they are mesmerizing, and he does play very aggressively when guarding point of attack. But I wonder if he is one of those bees who buzzes a lot but barely gives any honey. But on the other hand, one can make the argument that he was primarily used in a system that didn’t take full advantage of his defensive arsenal. He did impress guarding point guards.

Will the he be able to space the Floor?

Barnes posted a FT% of 62, a free throw rate of 33, three point percentage of 27 and usage of around 23. The numbers make one really pessimistic about his chances as a shooter. Lets see what history tells us:

  1. Sophomore TJ Warren, former 14th pick, career 36% from 3.
  2. Freshman Moe Harkless former 15th pick, career 32% from 3.
  3. Freshman PJ Washington former 12th pick, career 38% from 3
  4. Freshman Jaylen Brown former 3rd pick, career 38% from 3
  5. Sophomore Chris Singleton former 18th pick, career 32% from 3

Seems about split evenly. There is about a 50/50 chance that Barnes becomes an above average 3 point shooter. While that isn’t really amazing, it is still a huge sigh of relief compared to what his shooting splits are now. The shot, if it comes along should open the game up for him, and let his passing talents bloom.

Creation for Others

Barnes has a very good ast/TO ratio of 1.67, his usage was an ok 23%, and his assist% was a very impressive 31.5.  The only similar player in terms of production and size was Kyle Anderson his sophomore year. If we look at shorter players, this is what we get:

  1. Freshman Lonzo Ball, former 2nd pick, gets more than 5 assists per game
  2. Sophomore Michael Carter Williams, former 11th pick in the draft, peaked at 7 assists per game
  3. Freshman Shai Gilgeous Alexander, former 11th pick, still developing, averaged 6 assists per game last year
  4. Sophomore Tyrese Haliburton, former  12th pick, averaged 5 assists his rookie year
  5. Freshman D’Angelo Russell former 2nd pick in the draft, peaked at 7 assists per game

Very encouraging signs for Barnes hopefully. There isn’t a single player on the list who gets less than 5 assists per game. Given the fact that Barnes is bigger and more athletic than most of these players, there is a very likely chance that he might get 7 or 8 assist per game when he hits his prime.

Scoring Volume

Since he doesn’t have a shot from long range, and struggles from the line, he is a 2pt+FTs scorer with heavy emphasis on the 2pts, which are 75% of his PPG. This year he posted a FT rate of 33, FT% of 62%, 6.5 2pt field goal attempts and a 2pt field goal percentage of 56%. And here is what history says about his chances of being a volume scorer in the NBA:

  1. Freshman Marvin Bagley , former 2nd pick, peaked at 15 PPG /21 per 36
  2. Sophomore Brandon Clarke , former 21st pick, peaked at 12 PPG/  19 per 36
  3. Sophomore Kyle Kuzma former,  27th pick, peaked at 19 PPG
  4. Freshman Andre Roberson former 26th pick, peaked with 7 PPG/
  5. Sophomore Markieff Morris former 13th pick, peaked 15 PPG

More hit and miss than some stabile optimism. But none the less, Barnes could be a player who gets you between 15 and 20 every night. Kuzma is a fascinating example, since his college production mirrored that of Barnes a lot. Barnes could be a 3pt catch and shoot player slightly below Kuzma. But he could also be a menace in mismatches like a Bagley, but more efficient.


This was an interesting thought experiment. My impression was that Barnes will be an amazing defender, versatile as it gets, and someone with very limited offensive upside. But guessing by these numbers, there is a lot more optimism about his offensive prospects. I wonder if the defensive impact, or lack there if, is more a thing of his college system. In any case, he is going to be a plus POA defender. If he plays as the point guard in the lineup, he might not need to take care of the rebounds and secondary rim protection. People see him as the next Draymond, but I doubt he will reach Draymond’s peak as a defender. If fortune smiles upon him, he could be a far superior offensive player than Draymond.

If you draft him, you are hoping he peaks at 20-7-7, and guards every sort of ball handler. But the potential of another Josh Jackson or Stanley Johnson lurks from the shadows, even if you try to ignore them.

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