Warriors Could Target Draymond Green-Like Player in NBA Draft

Getty Florida State Seminoles wing Scottie Barnes.

The Golden State Warriors had luck on their side Tuesday night when the Minnesota Timberwolves’ lottery pick was revealed to be No. 7 overall. Because of a trade, this pick, which was top-3 protected in the deal, now belongs to the Warriors. This now gives Golden State two lottery picks, as it also drew the No. 14 overall pick.

With this pair of picks, the Warriors can either select two rookies to join their team for the 2021-22 season. Or, as mentioned by Brad Botkin of CBS Sports, they could even package either one or both of the draft picks in a trade. This could allow the Warriors to add a veteran player who could contribute immediately and help them regain their status as an elite Western Conference team instead of drafting a rookie who might need time to develop.

If Golden State keeps the No. 7 pick, then there is a chance they could select a young rookie whom some have compared to a name the Warriors and their fans are familiar with: Draymond Green.

NBC Sports Bay Area’s Drew Shiller pointed out that, during a virtual film session with ESPN’s Mike Schmitz, Florida State’s Scottie Barnes said he and Green are the same type of player. Barnes specifically noted how they both “bring that love and passion to the game.”

Barnes’ draft stock has risen as of late, and numerous mock drafts have him being taken around the No. 5 or No. 6 pick. But it’s possible that Barnes could be available to the Warriors at No. 7.

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Barnes’ Background

A 19-year-old, Barnes is a one-and-done forward from Florida State listed at 6-feet, 9-inches tall. He averaged 24.8 minutes per game and primarily came off the bench, starting only seven of 24 total games. But Barnes was still one of Florida State’s best players. He ranked third on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game, and he also led his team in assists and steals at 4.1 and 1.5 per game, respectively.

The freshman forward was honored for his play by being named both the 2021 ACC Freshman of the Year and the 2021 ACC Sixth Man of the Year.

Barnes’ Game

Although he is listed as a small forward/power forward, Shiller has noted that Barnes is really a point forward. Considering his assists numbers, that’s not a surprise. What’s nice about this is his height will often give him an advantage over other players at the point position.

Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington called Barnes’ playmaking ability his biggest strength:

Barnes’ best offensive skill is his passing and ball handling. He’s at his best in transition when he’s able to grab a rebound, bring the ball up the floor with pace and either find teammates for open threes/layups or drive it all the way to the cup himself. This coupled with his defensive prowess is where the Draymond Green comparisons really start to make some sense.

With a wingspan of 7-feet, 2-inches, Barnes can be a real threat as a multi-position defender, especially on the perimeter where smaller players might not be used to seeing that kind of coverage from defenders.

In his lone season in college, Barnes was also an efficient scorer, shooting 50.3% from the field.

This combination of skills and room for growth could make Barnes a good choice to be a key player for the Warriors moving forward should they get to draft him.

Barnes’ Limitations

Just because Barnes had a good field goal percentage as a freshman does not mean his offense is set, though.

For one, he isn’t much of a 3-point shooter. He did attempt 40 total 3-pointers while at Florida State, but he made just 11 of them for a 27.5% 3-point shooting percentage. So it’s not that Barnes isn’t willing to shoot from long range; he just needs to improve upon it.

Additionally, NBADraft.net referred to Barnes’ shooting as one of his weaknesses:

The biggest thing holding Barnes back from a higher selection is his inconsistent jump shooting…He is showing that he is more than capable of developing this shot, but inefficiency will hold him back until his perimeter game is a true threat

This season, the Warriors struggled to get consistent 3-point shooting from anyone not named Stephen Curry, so Barnes’ lack of shooting could limit his role on offense. At Florida State, he also didn’t get to the charity stripe much, averaging 2.8 free throws per game while connecting on just 62.1% of them.

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