Re-drafting the 2021 NBA Draft — 3. Scottie Barnes, Cavaliers
Another strong case here for Jalen Green, but due to potential fit concerns with Darius Garland the Cavaliers probably settle on Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes. I was skeptical of Barnes as a top-4 pick, but he proved me wrong and then some. Like Mobley, he was a core two-way piece of a contender’s DNA. He was as-advertised on the defensive end, but so much more than anyone could have reasonably hoped for on offense.
The 6-foot-8 Barnes spent much of the season toggling between forward and backup point guard. The Raptors put the ball in his hand and asked him to score. He obliged. After a quiet offensive season at Florida State, Barnes looked comfortable hunting mismatches in the post, converting on spot-up 3s, and even hunting some pull-up jumpers from mid-range.
He wouldn’t quite replicate Mobley’s defensive impact, but Barnes would give the Cavs plenty on that side of the ball. He can guard all five positions effectively and would benefit from the Jarrett Allen safety net behind him. Barnes is more advanced than Mobley offensively and his Swiss Army Knife skill set would immediately boost Cleveland’s at-times stagnant halfcourt attack.