A year ago, Barnes almost left college for the pros, but he chose to return for another season. With his ceiling very high, Barnes didn't pass up on the NBA this time around, which was the right call for the young forward.
With that said, here's a breakdown of Barnes' skills and his future in the league.
What Barnes Brings to the Team
A great wing man on the court (and probably off the court as well), Barnes is a long athletic stud who will waste no time in making his presence known around the NBA.
He's a superb defender and a fantastic shooter, which is one of the main reasons he was such an enticing prospect.
Barnes knows the game incredibly well, and because of his high basketball IQ, his potential to be a big-time star at the next level is through the roof.
As he continues to hone his craft, Barnes will need to work on his ball-handling skills and add strength to hang with the big boys of the NBA.
However, he has the tools to thrive in this league, and it's going to be very fun to watch him play.
What Experts are Saying
Ford does player evaluations for all the prospect before the draft, and he highlights the highs and lows of Barnes' game.
Barnes is a terrific shooter, is unafraid to keep firing and can defend multiple positions. But at times he looks one dimensional on offense and can disappear or coast for stretches. Barnes' struggles handling the ball often limit his ability to get shots where he wants them. That was never more evident than in the last two games of the season for UNC without Kendall Marshall.
I don't think he's a franchise-changer, but if he continues to develop, Danny Granger or Luol Deng might be his upside. If he doesn't live up to his potential? Maybe he is the second coming of Martell Webster.
Will Harrison Barnes Win the Rookie of the Year Award?
I fully expect Barnes to make a difference in his rookie campaign. His ability to play top-notch defense will be put to the test this year, but he should be able to excel.
Barnes has the talent to put up a good number of points during his first year in the league.
It will be interesting to see how much playing time he receives, but with a strong showing this summer and on into the start of the season, Barnes can work his way into a solid amount of playing time.
If he works on handling the ball better and driving to the hoop, Barnes can definitely contend for the Rookie of the Year award.
Cut the Dubs some slack here. Sure, Barnes may have dubious upside, an incomplete skill set, and glaring flaws, but this was the 7th pick and Golden State opted to go best available.
On the plus side, the UNC alum has a chance to become an upgrade at small forward and beef up that thin Warriors' rotation. He offers a scoring option off the bench and can eventually work his way into the starting lineup.
This probably spells the end of Dorell Wright, and Warriors fans can't be too bummed about excising an existing broken wheel. Unfortunately, this trip to the mechanic might have just outfitted GSW with another flat tire.