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6'8", 215 pounds
Draft Range: Top 10
If Harrison Barnes declared for the draft last year, he would have been a top 4 pick. Even late into this year, most mock drafts didn't have him lasting very long. Then Kendall Marshall took an awkward fall and all of the sudden some of Barnes weaknesses were exposed for all the world to see.
In the two tournament games without Marshall, Harrison shot a well publicized 8-for-30, including 2-of-14 form beyond the arc, while struggling to create off the bounce. Down the stretch of the game against Ohio University, Barnes was shut down and even turned the ball over on the last possession of regulation.
He also does not create shots for teammates very well, averaging a little over one assist per game, which is almost equal to half of his turnovers per game. He is a solid shooter and has the ability to rebound and defend with prototypical size for a small forward, but the Cavs need another creator of offense to pair with Kyrie, like Bradley Beal.
Now for the concerns I have about Harrison Barnes and his "brand". I recently read an enlightening article by Jay Caspian Kang. Here is a quote from Harrison Barnes' recruiting announcement to UNC:
"The school that I choose to be my alma mater, indeed, the place where I will leave my legacy, had the right balance of both academics and basketball that which I thought I could achieve the goals I wanted to pursue. Today, I'm proud to announce the school I will attend in the fall of 2010 will be the coach I'm going to Skype…"
Before even entering college, Barnes was already talking about his legacy like it was inevitable. This piece goes on to explain how much Harrison Barnes cares about his "brand," including an interview he had done with The Atlantic where he mentioned a reluctance to talk about his religious or political views because he might polarize the public.
Harrison seems more worried about the business aspect of basketball than the basketball aspect of basketball. He should take a lesson from Derrick Rose and let his play on the court lead to a huge Adidas contract. I hope Cleveland and its fans have learned from the brand that was and still is LeBron James, and stay away from the much less talented Harrison Barnes in this year's draft.