The Warriors under Bob Myers know a thing or two about drafting. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver even mentioned as much during his speech before Thursday’s NBA Draft, praising the Warriors for their homegrown talent.
In addition to the aforementioned players, both Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole are homegrown players and both were taken at the tail end of their respective drafts. That’s where the Warriors picked again on Thursday after winning another title, and selected large wing Patrick Baldwin Jr. out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Time will tell if Baldwin will be the next Looney or Poole, or if he’ll join a list of end-of-first-round busts like Patrick McCaw and Damian Jones. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, however, Golden State nailed the pick. O’Connor gave the Warriors an A+ for the selection in his draft recap.
“There isn’t a better situation for Baldwin than Golden State,” O’Conner writes. “He’s joining a team where there will be no pressure at all to develop quickly. It’s an all-upside pick on a top-ranked prospect out of high school who had a disastrous college season, dealing with injuries while playing for a bad team coached by his father. But with his great size and theoretical two-way ability as a scorer and defender, the Warriors can be patient in trying to get everything they can out of him. And if they miss, so be it.”
Baldwin Jr., a Wisconsin native, was considered a top high school recruit before a forgettable freshman season in college where only played in 11 games due to a nagging ankle injury.
Golden State is betting on upside here. Baldwin Jr. is known to be a good shooter but shot just 26.6% his freshman season. Baldwin Jr. projects as an oversized small forward at the NBA level and his ball handling ability mean he could be an effective slasher at the next level.
Interestingly, O’Connor comped Baldwin Jr. to another former Warriors draft pick, 2012 first-rounder Harrison Barnes.