With only 13 days left until the NBA Draft, it is becoming pretty clear that if the Thunder are to hold onto their 6th pick in the first round, they are locked in on selecting either Scottie Barnes from FSU, or James Bouknight. Let’s compare and break down the two, to see which selection would be best for the Thunder.
Scottie Barnes, Florida State University, 6’8” 225 lbs-
There is absolutely zero chance that Scottie falls out of the top ten, it just depends on who takes him. He very well could go top 5, but if he’s available at 6 I believe the Thunder will have a hard time passing him up . Barnes is a playmaking forward with a long 7’2 wingspan which gives him
A great advantage on the defensive side of the ball, his energy and high motor style of play just makes his game even more valuable to whatever team he is on. He is a very versatile defender being able to guard 1-4 and maybe even 5 depending on the matchup as he has the size to guard in the post, and the speed to guard out on the perimeter. He held whoever he was guarding to an impressive 37.2% from the field, even though he isn’t a great shot blocker.
Offensively he is a very strong driver to the rim and can finish through contact. Uses his very long strides to get out in front of the defense, and once he’s got the step he’s very difficult to catch up to. He’s not someone who’s going to show off fancy dribble moves, he’s very simple and methodical with his handle, but it works. Averaged 4.1 assists at FSU, and showed off great vision with drop off, and no look dimes. Really needs to improve his shooting stroke to be a big part of any NBA offense though, shot 27% from three on 1.7 attempts per game.
10.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 4.1 AST, 1.5 STL
James Bouknight, UCONN (Connecticut), 6’5” 190 lbs-
Bouknight has really shot up the boards this year, and very much deservedly so. James is one of if not the most talented scorers in this year’s draft. He’s a great athlete and is very explosive off one or two feet. Has highlight reel dunk potential. Has a very good knack of creating his own shot from almost anywhere on the court. He has a lethal step back jumper and is more than capable of just rising up and firing over the defense. Only shot 33.3% off the dribble, but most of those misses were actually wide open due to his superb speed, so you have to think with elite NBA training he could start knocking those down. He has pretty solid mechanics, so it’s odd to see him struggle making open shots. His confidence never waivers though, and he continues to try and find his shot. Which is a huge plus in a game where mental fortitude is a must. Loves to use his hesi to get defenders on their heels in the open court, does a very good job of selling the jumper to the defense. Very talented finisher, finishes through contact and makes some very difficult shots. Is definitely at his best when on a straight line to the rim. Not a great team
defender but has the physical attributes to become one. Very good post defender. Best as the help defender, averaging 1.1 steals per game. I
18.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG , 1.8 AST.
I would not be disappointed with either of these selections, but if I had to pick a better fit it would be Barnes. He has the potential to be an elite defender in the NBA, and the tools to be an above average offensive threat. Tweet me @Thunder_atb to weigh in and give your opinion.