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

By John Fanta
FOX Sports activities School Basketball Author

Patrick Baldwin Jr. entered the NBA Draft as one of many largest boom-or-bust prospects within the class, projected to be chosen someplace within the 20s by a group that doubtless may tackle a venture.

A lot of these prospects, extra occasions than not, really want the best organizational match to pan out in The Affiliation. Baldwin couldn’t ask for a greater touchdown spot, as a result of he’s heading to the world champions. 

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The Golden State Warriors went with upside in deciding on the 19-year-old Baldwin with the twenty eighth decide within the draft, and why not? Participant growth is a giant cause why the group has received 4 of the previous eight NBA titles.

Look no additional than Jordan Poole, the twenty eighth general decide within the 2019 draft. He turned an important weapon for the Warriors on their run to this 12 months’s title after growing with the Santa Cruz Warriors, the group’s G League affiliate, early on in his profession.

There’s a heavy stage of doubt surrounding Baldwin, and a good bigger stage of thriller with him as he turns professional. Out of Hamilton Excessive Faculty in Wisconsin, the versatile, 6-foot-9 ahead carried a ton of buzz following his junior 12 months, during which he averaged 24.3 factors and 10.8 boards, and earned Gatorade State Participant of the Yr. His senior season, although, was ruined by harm. After a 43-point efficiency within the opener, Baldwin suffered a dislocated left ankle in his second recreation and missed the remainder of the 12 months.

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

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

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So why choose Baldwin?

If he pans out, he might be a matchup nightmare within the NBA. He has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and a 9-foot-2 standing attain. That size mixed with a pure taking pictures kind and the flexibility to comfortably put the ball on the ground provides him such a novel talent set that may match within the modern-day NBA. And whereas he was inefficient in faculty and shot simply 27% from past the arc, Baldwin was enjoying 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. On the NBA Mix, he posted the second-worst time within the lane-agility drill. Pair that with an underwhelming 26.5-inch max vertical leap, and there are actual considerations about who Baldwin can guard on the skilled stage. 

Golden State’s developmental employees must work on his footwork, stance and pace as a way to maintain Baldwin from being a legal responsibility on that finish of the ground. Because 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 within the NBA, so he’s gonna need to rise up to hurry. We invested rather a lot in our participant growth, and we consider that we will take expertise and hopefully domesticate it. We expect he’s a kind of guys.”

It’s doubtless 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 will likely be his first wholesome season in three years. His summer time league standing will likely be decided by Golden State’s coaching employees this week. Baldwin was not restricted within the pre-draft course of and stated final week that his ankle is at about 95 %. 

One of the best ways to sum up an outlook for Baldwin might have come from a scout who offered 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 venture, however it’s very attention-grabbing to consider the concept of him panning out within the NBA as a result of he matches 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 decide. The well being considerations are actual, and his mix was not encouraging.

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

That’s a threat the world champions have the luxurious of with the ability to take, and it’s why that is such an important match for Baldwin as he tries to beat the adversity of the previous two years with top-of-the-line organizations within the league.

John Fanta is a nationwide faculty basketball broadcaster and author for FOX Sports activities. 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 Community to offering commentary on The Area of 68 Media Community. Observe him on Twitter @John_Fanta.


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