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) /
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Scottie Barnes, Cleveland Cavaliers
Florida State Seminoles playmaker Scottie Barnes handles the ball. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Cavs draft: Barnes could provide a key playmaking/driving presence for stretches

On the offensive end of the floor, Barnes needs to improve as a shooter; that’s apparent. He hit only 27.5 percent of his three-point attempts in 2020-21, and only 62.5 percent of his free throw attempts. That to me, and with the other youth in that case, wouldn’t lead to him being a starter, I wouldn’t think, for until potentially Year 2.

That said, in stretches for the Cavaliers, the Florida State product could give the club a quality driving threat that uses his quickness and long strides to finish strong in secondary transition, and he’s definitely a coast-to-coast guy.

In those instances, Barnes is so difficult for opponents to account for with how he eats up space, and along with the driving, of which he can utilize with his strength in settled situations and in pick-and-roll, his passing could really help Cleveland.

Barnes has great feel for hitting cutters, and he has the timing/requisite accuracy to hit Jarrett Allen, for instance, but is more than capable of hitting shooters on-time in the shooting pocket via drive-and-kicks, skip feeds and wraparounds.

And in spurts, while I could very well foresee Cleveland looking to sign a veteran backup point guard such as T.J. McConnell or perhaps Brad Wanamaker, Barnes could fill primary playmaker duties even.

Of course, I’d more so expect him to play at the 3/4 formally, but Scottie’s point forward qualities could provide an interesting wrinkle and could make a difference for the Cavaliers off the bench, and in that way, give them a boost/Garland a breather.

Moreover, with the energy I believe he’d provide for the Cavs, I could see Barnes ending up becoming the Wine and Gold’s X-factor as a bench spark plug pretty early on.

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He’s absolutely a key prospect to watch for Cleveland, from my perspective, regarding the 2021 NBA Draft set to commence on July 29.