Cavs 2021 NBA Draft: Scottie Barnes could be CLE X-factor

Florida State Seminoles playmaker Scottie Barnes celebrates in-game. (Photo by: Robert Goddin-SA TODAY Sports)
Florida State Seminoles playmaker Scottie Barnes celebrates in-game. (Photo by: Robert Goddin-SA TODAY Sports) /
1 of 3
Scottie Barnes, Cleveland Cavaliers
Florida State Seminoles playmaker Scottie Barnes passes the ball. (Photo by Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports) /

Heading into the draft lottery to come on June 22, the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently slotted at the #5 position after having lost a tiebreaker to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

At the moment, the Cavs do have a 45.1 percent chance of selecting in the top 4 of the 2021 NBA Draft, per Tankathon, but only actually have a 2.0 percent chance of landing at #5. From there, Cleveland has their highest odds of landing at #6 (an 18.2 percent chance) or #7 (a 25.5 percent chance), with them then having an 8.6 percent of landing at #8, and then just a 0.6 percent chance of slotting in at #9.

With the top four in mind, for starters, Cade Cunningham appears extremely likely to be the top selection in the upcoming draft, and names such as Evan Mobley, Jalen Green, Jalen Suggs and Jonathan Kuminga would seem to likely round out the top 5.

For Cleveland, in this case though, a few prospects that could potentially be in play for the 6-8 range could maybe be Scottie Barnes, Moses Moody, James Bouknight, Franz Wagner and perhaps Kai Jones and/or Davion Mitchell.

Among those prospects, while I’m particularly high on the first four mentioned, here, we’ll take a closer look at Barnes in this sense. The 6-foot-9, 227-pound likely combo forward but feasibly point forward at the next level is very intriguing, realistically from 5-onward.

For the Cavaliers, too, I believe he could be an X-factor-type player.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Barnes could be their X-factor.

On the surface, Barnes’ traditional statline of 10.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per outing didn’t necessarily pop out, but his defensive capabilities/versatility on-ball could make a big difference for the Cavs, and his playmaking could aid the likes of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton.

Barnes is not a player that would likely start regularly next season for Cleveland, with other wings in the fold, and Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr. and Dean Wade in tow.

Granted, opposing general managers that were reportedly reached by sources of Sam Amico of Hoops Wire, OutKick and Forty Eight Minutes do believe that either before next season or at some point during it, that Cleveland and Love will eventually agree to a buyout.

Albeit he does still have two years left currently on his deal, so we’ll have to see, and Cavs general manager Koby Altman did recently state how Love is still valuable. So I’d still expect that Love will likely be well in the fold, at least for a large chunk of next season; although injuries with Love one has to expect could happen unfortunately.

Anyway, circling back to Barnes, I do still believe that he could help Cleveland in a big way with his defensive capabilities, first off.