NBA Rumors: Scottie Barnes Interests Magic, Thunder with No. 5, 6 Picks in Draft

Adam WellsJuly 16, 2021

Florida State guard Scottie Barnes (4) drives down court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball Championship game against Georgia Tech at the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday, March 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Two weeks away from the 2021 NBA draft, Florida State forward Scottie Barnes is reportedly moving up team boards.

Per The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, the Orlando Magic are "high" on Barnes with the No. 5 pick. The Oklahoma City Thunder have a preference of either Barnes or James Bouknight from Connecticut at No. 6.

B/R's Jonathan Wasserman moved Barnes up to No. 5 in his big board rankings Thursday, citing a combination of respect for his game from scouts and concern over Jonathan Kuminga's upside.

"There is a sense he's a more capable shooter than the numbers suggest, and though he doesn't possess traditional upside fueled by scoring skills, his playmaking, finishing and defense create a different type of star potential," Wasserman wrote of Barnes.

After the June 22 lottery finalized the draft order, Kuminga was widely regarded as the fifth-best prospect in the class behind the big four (Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley).

O'Connor noted Kuminga, who averaged 15.8 points on 38.7 percent shooting and 7.2 rebounds in 13 starts with the G League Ignite, "has been scarcely mentioned" in NBA circles as a favored option for the Magic or Thunder.

Barnes was a breakout star during his lone season at Florida State in 2020-21. He earned ACC Sixth Man of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors after averaging 10.3 points on 50.3 percent shooting, 4.1 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game in 24 appearances.

If Kuminga does fall further than expected, the Magic could still select him. They also own the eighth overall pick as compensation from the Nikola Vucevic trade with the Chicago Bulls in March.   


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