Throughout the course of Friday, the NBA Draft top prospects met with League Media to help give some signs of clarity before the July 29 Draft.
One of those who took to the stand was Florida State’s own Scottie Barnes. The 6-foot-9 forward has helped make a name for himself finding a footing as a Top 6 projected pick come Thursday. Among those interested are the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Barnes didn’t hold back from showing Bricktown some love.
“I would say that it went pretty well. Getting to know the people in their [Oklahoma City’s] program, the staff, they seemed like a really good group of people. A lot of people that just want to develop their players, try to really get to know them. Be close with them.Scottie Barnes on Oklahoma City
Barnes’ statements here highlight once again the culture brewing in Oklahoma City. As reported earlier in the month, second-round projected forward Vrenz Bleijenbergh spoke highly of the organization referring to their environment as a “family.” While Barnes never specifically cited “family,” you can make sure that him mentioning how they like being “close” with players is no sheer coincidence.
Alongside Barnes’ comments on the franchise itself, the forward mentioned Lu Dort as a player he’s taken a look at, even showing his intrigue for a potential duo with the guard.
“As you can see watching Lu Dort play, he’s an amazing defensive player. Gets really low on defense, has that intensity… Me being able to play with him, it would be great for that organization.”Scottie Barnes on Lu Dort
As a projected small forward at the next level, Lu Dort would almost have to slide down to the two-guard if the Thunder nab Barnes in the draft. In this answer, Barnes’ confidence really bled through, because as we all know, Lu Dort is a top-tier defender in the NBA.
The great news for Barnes — he backed up this comparison at the collegiate level. With the Seminoles, Barnes took home hardware as the ACC’s Freshman of the Year in addition to taking the conference’s Sixth Man award. The relentless motor of Barnes was always running on the defensive end as he utilized his lanky frame to be active both at the perimeter and interior when guarding his man.
Another strong point of Barnes came with how he used his length on the offensive end. Barnes put on a Draymond-esque playstyle peering over defenders for assists but also being able to sift through traffic for layups.
One weak spot though came from the three-point line.
Barnes shot a paltry 27.5% from distance last season, but as noted by the forward, he’s taking a “natural” approach to this segment of his game with the intention of being consistent outside in the near future.
Barnes is expected to be picked in the Top 6 of this years’ Draft Class, and his fate along with many others will become answered on July 29.