The Scottie Barnes hype train continues to roll on at the 2021 NBA Draft Combine.
Weeks ago, Barnes was widely considered to be the sixth best player in this year’s draft, but he had moved up some expert’s draft boards ahead of Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery.
Now, with the Oklahoma City Thunder currently slotted to pick sixth, there may be a silver lining.
During the physical testing at the combine, Barnes put on a show.
His 2.99-second shuttle was the second best at the combine, and he also recorded a 36-inch standing vertical, which was good enough for the third best mark amongst all combine participants.
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Pair Barnes’ jump out of the gym athleticism with his 6-foot-7 frame and 7-3 wingspan, and its easy to see why draft experts are excited about the former Florida State wing.
The question surrounding Barnes will still be his ability to create his own shot at the next level. Last year he only shot 27.5 percent from deep and 62.1 percent from the free throw line in his only year in Tallahassee.
It’s not a death sentence, however, as Lu Dort famously went undrafted in part because of his poor 3-point shooting at Arizona State and the combine. Dort shot just 30 percent from beyond the arc at ASU, and looks to be on track to developing into a consistent deep threat for OKC.
The Thunder may not even have to worry about Barnes’ shooting. His physical tools may land him in the top five come draft night, potentially allowing the Thunder to take a shot on G League Ignite star Jonathan Kuminga without having to move up into the top five.
Friday will bring more data and information, as the draft combine continues in Chicago.