With the 2022-23 season having come to an end, we look back and review every player that took to the floor for the Golden State Warriors. Players are ranked on performance, with some of that based on preseason expectations.
For someone who was taken late in the first-round of the draft, and who didn’t participate in Summer League due major ankle issues in his lone college season, it’s a credit to Patrick Baldwin Jr. that many fans were actually clamouring for him to play more during his rookie campaign.
Sure, he wasn’t totally impactful appearing in just 31 games, but there were signs of an effective NBA player capable of soon filling a role the Warriors sorely lacked for almost the entirety of the 2022-23 season.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. showed enough in his rookie season to suggest the Golden State Warriors certainly have a talent to work with moving forward.
The 6’9″ forward made his debut in garbage time against the Detroit Pistons on October 30, but didn’t get his first real opportunity until Golden State rested all their key players in a blowout loss against the New Orleans Pelicans on November 21.
His first impactful stretch of the season came in late December to early January. He displayed his shooting prowess with five threes and 17 points against the Brooklyn Nets on December 21, helping the Warriors to second-half competitiveness after an historically disastrous opening 24 minutes.
Baldwin was crucial in a five-point win over Utah on December 28, knocking down three triples and grabbing three rebounds with Golden State a +13 in his minutes. Between that game on December 21 against the Nets, and the end of February, Baldwin made 23 of his 44 (52.3%) attempts from three-point range.
Baldwin’s role diminished as the Warriors geared up for what resulted as an unsuccessful push for the title. Ironically, it was the threat of a three-point shooting forward that they may have lacked most in the playoffs, particularly against the Lakers who proved too big and too dominant on the inside.
Golden State desperately missed Otto Porter Jr.’s presence from the year prior, and Baldwin projects as a long-term replacement if the franchise is willing to wait on his development. He’s already shown his three-point shooting ability (38.1% on the season) and displays a nice feel for the game that stems from his father being a long-time coach.
There’s obviously a lot to work on though — he needs to be a consistent rebounding presence if he’s going to be a power-forward or even small-ball five in the Warrior system. Physically he should still be on the improve after the ankle issues in college, meaning there’s room to grow the defensive side of his game. Once defenses begin to fully respect his perimeter shot, it’ll be important that he adds the capacity to attack closeouts and make plays off the dribble.
Golden State took a chance with Baldwin who was a consensus five-star recruit coming out of high school but fell down draft boards in his collegiate year. The early signs have been encouraging, and there’s reason for optimism that he can become a rotational piece as early as next season.