After endless rumors and scenarios linking the Warriors to a half-dozen players, the speculation finally ended when they selected North Carolina swingman Harrison Barnes with the seventh pick in the NBA draft.
The 6-foot-8 Barnes is expected to bolster the Warriors small forward position. He’s a score-first player with a above-average jump shot. Scouting reports claim that he “can be a lock down defender,” which would be a big plus for the Warriors, who are trying to put an emphasis on team defense.
CSN Bay Area’s Matt Steinmetz gave his instant analysis of the Warriors pick. Barnes averaged 17 points and five rebounds during his sophomore season at North Carolina.
General Manager Bob Myers met with the media a few minutes after the selection of Barnes became official:
“He’s got great value and we’re excited. He fits what we need. You guys will love him. A great kid, great player. We’re just excited. But we’re not done. As you all know, we still have three more picks.”
The Warriors now have three really good shooters. Barnes, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are all deadly from outside.
The Warriors got in on Barnes late in the draft process. He never came to Oakland for a private workout. On Monday, owner Joe Lacob and Myers flew to New York to watch Barnes and Connecticut center Andre Drummond work out. It was the first time either man had seen Barnes in person.
ESPN’s Chad Ford had Barnes third on the Warriors’ wish list, behind Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Dion Waiters.
There was speculation and perhaps even hope that Kidd-Gilchrist might fall to the Warriors at No. 7. But Charlotte surprised everyone and grabbed MKG with the No. 2 pick. Cleveland used the fourth pick to take Waiters to fill out a backcourt led by last season’s Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving.