Pundits React, Grade Warriors Selection of Baldwin Jr. Originally Appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Warriors used the No. 28 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft to select Milwaukee forward Patrick Baldwin Jr.
After drafting Jordan Poole with that same pick in 2019, Golden State hopes 28 is its lucky number.
But draft pundits aren’t waiting three seasons to see Baldwin Jr. develop, instead they’ve already handed out notes for the Warriors’ first pick in this year’s draft.
Here’s what the league’s draft pundits are saying about the Warriors’ selection.
“There is no better situation for Baldwin than Golden State. He joins a team where there will be no pressure to develop quickly. It’s an entirely positive choice for a top prospect fresh 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 large size and theoretical two-way ability as a goalscorer and defender, the Warriors can be patient as they try to get all they can out of him. And if they miss, so be it.
“I see what the Warriors are doing here, but it feels like a reach. Golden State adds a former McDonald’s All-American who was a top-10 player in his high school class before a disappointing first season. At 6-10, Baldwin has intriguing size and he’s labeled as a 3-point shooter even though he didn’t shoot very well last year. If any team can take Baldwin to his full potential, it’s the Warriors.
“I like that for Golden State in particular. Who are they taking this delay that’s going to help them immediately? Probably nobody. So they’re taking the plunge! Baldwin would have been in the top 10 if we had made that draft a year ago. Big size, great photo and a risk worth taking.
“Baldwin is the epitome of a boom or bust perspective in this project. With a wingspan of 7ft 2in and a standing reach of 9ft 2in, Baldwin’s height speaks for itself. The bet on his game is that his perimeter shot and turnaround jumper are going to make him a really tough game for an opposing defense in the NBA. The sample size is limited, as his year in Milwaukee playing for his dad didn’t show much.
He only appeared in 11 games, aggravating an ankle injury that derailed his high school career. The concept of his game adapted as a big one who can shoot is interesting. That said, his defense is non-existent. He really doesn’t seem to have much feeling at this end of the floor, so much so that it makes him a tough sell right now as a first-round prospect. It’s also hard to tell how big a Baldwin engine is.
Finding a big is a need for world champions and Baldwin falls into that category. In terms of fit, Baldwin couldn’t ask for a better landing spot. His lack of athletic ability is really concerning, but Golden State’s bets on their player development system is something you can’t hate.
“It’s the best possible landing spot for Baldwin. The 6’10 forward was expected to be a top 10 pick at the start of the year before suffering one of the most trying freshman seasons ever. by a highly touted rookie in recent memory. Baldwin injured his ankle early in his senior year of high school, and it lingered into his freshman year, limiting him to just 11 games. Baldwin received an offer to Duke but instead opted to play for his father in Milwaukee The poor team environment hurt him all season when he was on the field If you throw away the freshman there’s a lot to like about Baldwin He’s a height major with a standing reach of 9’2 and had a reputation as a knockdown shooter in high school Baldwin isn’t sure due to his injury issues and lack of athleticism, but his size, shot and top-notch pedigree are attractive at this stage of the draft Read my arti key on Baldwin’s rise and fall as the top draft prospect here.
“The Warriors obviously have the luxury of signing a player here that they can hide and develop. Baldwin Jr. looks like an elite NBA player with his 6-foot-10 frame. He manages and shoots the ball like a keeper, but it’s questionable if he can stay healthy. Baldwin Jr. only played 11 games last college season due to an ankle injury and was plagued with injuries in high school. Again, the Warriors can hide it and develop it, but it’s still a risky move.
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“If I believed in Baldwin at all defensively, I would have a first-round grade on him. I buy the shot as much, and I think he has a shot at being one of the best shooters in the league because of his pace, balance, release, and high release point. But I just don’t think he’ll be able to protect anyone, especially in the wide open spaces that the NBA has to offer. He might be such a good shooter that he stays in the league for a while as a specialist, but I don’t think I’m buying him as an impact player. I see him more like another Wisconsin basketball legend, Steve Novak. Novak played around 500 career games and stayed in the league for a decade. But he was never the kind of guy you could count on to hang on enough on defense.
Hollinger’s team form: Baldwin had an absolutely miserable freshman season, but his pedigree at the start of the year helped keep his draft stock afloat. The idea of Baldwin as a big wing that can shoot probably evokes some fantasies of a young Otto Porter, but the reality so far is far from that.
“With four championship rings in the past eight years, most of its core under contract next year, and a host of young talent waiting in the wings with three recent lottery picks in James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody , the Warriors are in an envious spot going into next season, especially as its owner has proven willing to spend big bucks to keep the party going Steph Curry is aging like fine wine, Klay Thompson will likely continue to look like his old self the further he is from his disastrous injuries, and there’s no reason to believe that Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney, Gary Payton II and others can’t be held back long term given of everything the team has to offer pick as the icing on the cake, but the Warriors front office has proven to be quite shrewd in how they use project capital as the core of their roster has been picked. é and developed in-house, and continuing to stock affordable talent must be a priority given the team’s luxury tax situation.
Baldwin is huge for a wing, standing over 6-foot-10 with a nearly 7-2 wingspan and a 231-pound frame. He sports an effortless shot with a silky touch, polished footwork, the ability to take hard shots off the dribble, a great pedigree and is only 19 years old. As talented as Baldwin is, he had an unproductive and ineffective season at an extremely low level of competition, where he was clearly hampered by a lingering ankle injury that dates back to his high school days. NBA scouts question his defensive tenacity, as well as his explosiveness and inability to improve teammates, as Milwaukee was clearly playing better when he was out of the rotation. Those question marks dropped Baldwin from a projected top-10 pick to the No. 28 pick in the draft. “