The Warriors selected Patrick Baldwin Jr. with their first-round pick (No. 28) in a gamble on his upside, and he’ll bring a familiar, appreciated mentality to Golden State, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.
As Poole details, Baldwin was a five-star recruit entering college, but was limited to just 11 games for Wisconsin-Milwaukee due to a serious ankle injury, which had some questioning his toughness. The young forward insists that isn’t an issue.
“There’s never a point where if I feel like I’m healthy that I feel like I should sit out,” Baldwin told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I know that’s contrary to popular belief with some people. If I’m healthy, I’m playing, but at some points I was pushing through it. But if there was a sliver of a chance I could play for my team and compete, I’m going out there to play.”
Baldwin averaged 12.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per contest as a freshman last season, but his shooting line of .344/.266/.743 was dreadful. He also tested extremely poorly at the combine last month, Poole notes, recording just a 26.5 inch maximum vertical leap, one of the worst marks in the last 10 years.
“I’m a better athlete than I showed that day,” Baldwin told Poole. “I’m a firm believer in that. I know I’ve got to come out here and really show that’s not an issue. That’s all you can do. You can’t sit and talk about it. You’ve got to do it.”
President of basketball operations Bob Myers recently said that Baldwin still needs to be medically cleared for Summer League action, so it sounds like the ankle might still be an issue (Twitter link via Anthony Slater of The Athletic).
Here’s more on the Warriors:
- Myers also touched on the team’s second-round selections, per Slater. Golden State expects to have Ryan Rollins on the 15-man roster, but might draft-and-stash Gui Santos. The Warriors traded up to acquire Rollins at No. 44, while the Brazilian forward Santos was the team’s own pick at No. 55.
- Tim Kawakami of The Athletic provides a player-by-player breakdown of the team’s roster following the draft. Myers said drafting young players is desirable in part because they’re so difficult to obtain in free agency. “It’s easier to get some of the older players, we think, in free agency, than young players. Young players are probably the most in demand in free agency. Obviously trading for them is extremely difficult. So that’s why we draft some guys like that,” he said as part of a larger quote.
- Andre Iguodala has earned “player-emeritus status” with the Warriors, Monte Poole states in a separate article. Iguodala is undecided on whether or not he’s going to retire, but the team would be “thrilled” to have him back. Poole argues that Iguodala’s off-court impact is incredibly valuable to Golden State and the team should keep him as long as he wants to stick around, like what Miami does with Udonis Haslem.
- The Warriors expect James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody to all participate in Summer League, according to Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area, who says the trio has a big opportunity to improve this offseason. Wiseman, of course, missed all of last season after multiple setbacks from a couple of knee surgeries.