Portland Trail Blazers: 3 prospects worth trading into the NBA Draft for

Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Draft (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Draft (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Scottie Barnes, Florida State University, University of Michigan
Scottie Barnes, Florida State University, University of Michigan (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

Portland Trail Blazers: Scottie Barnes is the wing they’ve been waiting for

Aside from playmaking, another huge need for the Blazers bench is perimeter defense. If they trade back into the draft for Florida State University’s Scottie Barnes, they could kill two birds with one stone.

The Seminole came out of Montverde Academy the number one ranked power forward, number two prospect out of Florida, and seventh overall in the country.

Barnes showcased a unique set of skills at FSU, averaging 10 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. With a little more experience and opportunity, Barnes could grow further into his body and become a walking triple double on the wings.

He’s already proved to be an advanced playmaker for his age. As he accustomates to the NBA game, his size will allow him to make passes from any spot on the court, at any angle.

Imagine Barnes running the floor and passing open Melo and Simons, or even Dame and CJ.

While his court vision at his size is a unique asset, it’s not even his biggest draw as a prospect. At 6’9, 225 with elite athleticism, Barnes projects as a versatile defender, capable of locking down four different positions. His 7’2 wingspan gives him the ability to swallow up small guards and contest shots against bigger forwards.

In his freshman season at FSU, he totaled 35 steals and 11 blocks in just 24 games played.

Watch Barnes show off his incredible versatility in the above clip. Barnes first sinks into the paint to help on the driver out of the 2-3 defense. After his ball pressure forces the outlet to the corner, he uses his agility to return to his zone and beats the swing pass there for the steal. He then showcases his advanced ball skills at his size to go coast-to-coast for the easy two.

Trading for Barnes’s potential would certainly be more costly than swinging for Dosunmu. Wassinger and Ward-Henninger project him being picked at 6th, while KOC has him going at 11th. If he shot a little better than the 28 percent clip he put up from deep, we’d be talking about him as a top-five draft pick. If his shooting woes slide him out of the top-seven, the Blazers should inquire how much it would take to nab him.

Barnes would not only help them next season, but could grow into the perfect forward to flank Dame. If his price tag is affordable, Portland shouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.