When it was all said and done North Carolina had four players go in the first round of last night’s NBA Draft. That was no surprise. However what was much of a surprise was how they went, and I will begin with the first one picked… Harrison Barnes, who did not surprise anyone by being the first of the quartet taken, but might have surprised some how he fell. The sophomore small forward, who I had going either fourth (to Cleveland) or fifth (to Sacramento), while some had him slated to be the second overall pick, “fell” a bit below my expectations, ending up at Golden State (23-43 ~ 4th in the WC Pacific ~ 13th overall in the Western Conference), who had the seventh pick. And while this might be a tough shot to take for the player that was a pre-season All-American before he ever stepped on the hardwoods of the Dean Dome, it could also be looked at as the steal of the Top 10 picks.
Welcome to the squad @hbarnes !
— David Lee (@Dlee042) June 29, 2012
As I said in my pre-draft post about Barnes is that what the Carolina fan base saw of him in two years is not the finished product. Meaning that the potential to be the best player not named Anthony Davis in the 2012 draft is there. And with the exception of the pick from the Cavs, who took Dion Waiters from Syracuse, all the players taken ahead of the 6’8″ forward can not really be argued. As the old saying goes “it is what it is”, and looking at it right now for Harrison Barnes I think it is a good fit with the team that drafted him.
Having looked around, RotoWorld has an article that says the Warriors are actively pursuing unloading their starting small forward, which could definitely open up the door for Barnes to step into his role while still not needing to the the options on the squad. Again, a win-win for both parties involved.
The Warriors are “really trying to move Dorell Wright” reports Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News.
Kawakami’s source indicated the Warriors want to unload Wright “whenever they can,” so it might not mean much if he’s still in town after the draft. Jettisoning Wright seems like a critical part of Golden State’s well-known desire to upgrade at SF. For all his struggles under a new coach last year, it’s hard to dismiss Wright’s career-high averages in 2010-11 — 16.4 points, 37.6 percent from downtown, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.8 blocks.
Overall I am very excited for Harrison Barnes to get going with his next basketball chapter. I am definitely looking forward to seeing him playing along side the likes of Stephen Curry and David Lee, who both were hurt last season. On a team that was 20 games below .500, missed the playoffs by 13 games, someone like Barnes can surely come in and give a jolt right from the start. Being able to do so and not be the top option for his team is going to make him even more dangerous to the opposition, and that is when I believe we will see the true talent shine for a young man who has all the skills needed to succeed at the next level.