Mar 22, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Scottie Barnes (4) passes the ball around Colorado Buffaloes guard Keeshawn Barthelemy (11) in the second half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports
Should the San Antonio Spurs be looking to draft Scottie Barnes?
During an interview with rising media star Noah Magero-George, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor pointed to Florida State’s, Scottie Barnes as a player that he thinks the San Antonio Spurs should be interested near draft day. Would Barnes fit well in San Antonio?
“The number one guy that comes to mind is Scottie Barnes. He plays the way you want a Spurs players to play. A lot of effort. A lot of heart. Love for the game. He’s a hustle player.”
Hustle is great, and O’Connor is right, that’s exactly what the Spurs could use more of. Combining Barnes with the human energy volt that is Keldon Johnson would surely give the Spurs one of the more enthusiastic and up-tempo frontcourts in the NBA but does Barnes bring what the Spurs need?
Barnes does a little bit of everything, he’s a master at filling up box scores. Against North Carolina, he delivered a 12 point, 7 rebound, 2 assist, 6 steal performance that illustrated the variety of ways that he can impact the game.
His defensive switchability and offensive versatility could make him an intriguing addition to the Spurs locker room but his lack of shooting ability is concerning. Jakob Poeltl doesn’t provide much as a floor spacer, playing him with Barnes could tighten driving lanes for the Spurs slashers. But, in lineups featuring Barnes and Luka Samanic, there could be enough shooting ability to keep defenders from packing the lane.
Still, of the potential red flags in a player’s game, a lack of shooting ability is something the Spurs are well equipped to handle. As O’Connor pointed out in his interview with Noah, they’ve got one of the best shooting coaches in the league ready to help improve Barnes’s shot.
“There’s perhaps nobody better than Chip Engelland at helping guys with some issues in their shots. Popovich and the Spurs…typically emphasize strengths and minimize weaknesses. Not every coach does that.”
Similar to the process they followed with Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs could focus on putting Barnes in situations where he can be successful while he works on improving his three-point shot. If they can follow that plan I’m sure they’d be able to help Barnes live up to his massive potential.
This is just a first look at players we think could fit well with the San Antonio Spurs. Stay tuned to Air Alamo for more draft prospect coverage coming soon.