The Golden State Warriors have done it again, drafting another raw prospect that has an incredibly high ceiling. This time, it is in the form of Patrick Baldwin Jr.
Some experts and fans believe the Warriors over-drafted, and Patrick Baldwin Jr. could have been acquired much lower in the draft, while others believe that he should have been a lottery pick, or even deserving of a spot in the top ten.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. was ranked number four in the country coming out of high school. There he showed some of the potential the Warriors clearly see in him.
Either way, it doesn’t matter anymore, the draft is over; now, we just need to evaluate what his potential is on the Golden State Warriors.
In high school, Baldwin Jr. was, to put it simply, dominant.
The 6-foot-9 forward put up dazzling numbers and won numerous awards for his excellence on the court. Unfortunately, his senior year was cut short due to an ankle injury that left him sidelined to end the year, potentially keeping him from being ranked in the top three in the nation.
This did not go unrecognized as essentially every school in the nation offered him a spot on their roster, and after a decision that took nearly the whole world by surprise, he signed with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
While he started the season strong, dropping an efficient 18 points in only 18 minutes during his collegiate debut, this would be short-lived as he would aggravate his previously injured ankle early on.
While Baldwin tried to play through this injury, he struggled on the court and did not look like he normally would. He eventually ended up further damaging his ankle, ending his season after playing only 11 games for the Panthers.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. averaged 12.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game while shooting horrendously from the field and not being able to hit threes or free throws consistently. He also held a high turnover clip.
This is something that seemed to be due to his ankle injuries, so maybe write the stats off and trust that he can find his rhythm when he’s healthy again.
Baldwin is a player who can score from anywhere at an efficient clip, rebound at a high level, and has the potential to create plays for others as well.
The Golden State Warriors have the incredible ability to help players reach their full potential with the franchise.
We saw Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green develop into future first-ballot Hall of Famers with this historic franchise. We even saw players like JaVale McGee and Shaun Livingston turn their careers around as well.
This team has even taken players late in the first round and turned them into elite role players quickly, great examples being Kevon Looney or Jordan Poole.
Even established players have come in and seen improvements in some areas, Kevin Durant played the best defense of his career in a Warriors jersey while seeing a slight rise in efficiency. Andrew Wiggins even took the step to be an All-Star while playing in San Francisco.
If the Warriors are able to get Baldwin to reach his potential, while also developing James Wiseman, Jordan Poole, and Jonathan Kuminga, they will leave this decade with plenty more than seven championships.
If any team is able to bring out the top-five player of his high school class version of Patrick Baldwin Jr., it’s the Golden State Warriors.