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NBA Draft 2022: What Warriors are getting in Patrick Baldwin Jr.

By John Fanta
FOX Sports College Basketball Writer

Patrick Baldwin Jr. entered the NBA Draft as one of many greatest boom-or-bust prospects in the category, projected to be chosen someplace in the 20s by a group that possible might tackle a undertaking.

These varieties of prospects, extra instances than not, actually need the precise organizational match to pan out in The Association. Baldwin couldn’t ask for a greater touchdown spot, as a result of he’s heading to the world champions. 

The Golden State Warriors went with upside in deciding on the 19-year-old Baldwin with the twenty eighth choose in the draft, and why not? Player growth is an enormous motive why the group has gained 4 of the previous eight NBA titles.

Look no additional than Jordan Poole, the twenty eighth general choose in the 2019 draft. He grew to become an important weapon for the Warriors on their run to this yr’s title after growing with the Santa Cruz Warriors, the group’s G League affiliate, early on in his profession.

There is a heavy stage of doubt surrounding Baldwin, and an excellent bigger stage of thriller with him as he turns professional. Out of Hamilton High School in Wisconsin, the versatile, 6-foot-9 ahead carried a ton of buzz following his junior yr, in which he averaged 24.3 factors and 10.8 boards, and earned Gatorade State Player of the Year. His senior season, although, was ruined by damage. After a 43-point efficiency in the opener, Baldwin suffered a dislocated left ankle in his second recreation and missed the remainder of the yr.

Even with the damage, Baldwin was recruited by the heavy hitters throughout school basketball. He handed on taking part in for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke in favor of taking part in for his father, Patrick Baldwin Sr., at Milwaukee. But Baldwin Jr. appeared in solely 11 video games, averaging 12.1 factors and 5.8 rebounds, earlier than re-aggravating his ankle damage and being shut down in February.

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In 4 months, Baldwin went from a possible lottery choose heading into the school basketball season to being a fringe first-round prospect.

So why choose Baldwin?

If he pans out, he might be a matchup nightmare in the NBA. He has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and a 9-foot-2 standing attain. That size mixed with a pure capturing kind and the flexibility to comfortably put the ball on the ground provides him such a singular talent set that may match in the modern-day NBA. And whereas he was inefficient in school and shot simply 27% from past the arc, Baldwin was taking part in on a 10-22 group that led to his father getting fired. He’ll be surrounded by higher items on the professional stage.

So, what do the Warriors want to determine with Baldwin? His athleticism is a trigger for concern. At the NBA Combine, he posted the second-worst time in the lane-agility drill. Pair that with an underwhelming 26.5-inch max vertical leap, and there are actual issues about who Baldwin can guard on the skilled stage. 

Golden State’s developmental employees must work on his footwork, stance and velocity in order to maintain Baldwin from being a legal responsibility on that finish of the ground. As the son of a basketball coach, although, Baldwin has a really feel and IQ for the sport. 

The Warriors know Baldwin carries query marks, however they embrace the concept of untapped potential.

“He’s going to need to put it collectively. He hasn’t but,” stated Warriors normal supervisor Bob Myers. “He was a top-10 recruit out of highschool. Now he’s in the NBA, so he’s gonna need to stand up to hurry. We invested loads in our participant growth, and we consider that we will take expertise and hopefully domesticate it. We suppose he’s a type of guys.”

It’s possible that Baldwin will spend the upcoming season in Santa Cruz with the G League group constructing himself up and getting constant reps in what the Warriors hope can be his first wholesome season in three years. His summer season league standing can be decided by Golden State’s coaching employees this week. Baldwin was not restricted in the pre-draft course of and stated final week that his ankle is at about 95 %. 

The greatest method to sum up an outlook for Baldwin might have come from a scout who supplied an nameless opinion forward of the draft in our boom-or-bust story. 

Related: NBA Draft 2022: Five fascinating boom-or-bust prospects

“Baldwin is a undertaking, but it surely’s very attention-grabbing to consider the concept of him panning out in the NBA as a result of he suits the pick-and-pop position for a group. When watching him at his greatest, I can’t assist however be intrigued as a result of he has the talents of a lottery choose. The well being issues are actual, and his mix was not encouraging.

“He’s a danger, however the reward might be nice.”

That’s a danger the world champions have the luxurious of with the ability to take, and it’s why that is such a fantastic match for Baldwin as he tries to beat the adversity of the previous two years with probably the greatest organizations in the league.

John Fanta is a nationwide school basketball broadcaster and author for FOX Sports. He covers the game in quite a lot of capacities, from calling video games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to offering commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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