NBA Draft 2012: Ranking the 5 Best Fits for Harrison Barnes
North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes has been one of the best players in college basketball since the moment he stepped on campus, and there are several lottery teams who could desperately use his scoring ability.
At 6'8" and 230 lbs, Barnes is a physical specimen who led the talented Tar Heels in scoring last year with 17.1 points per game.
Barnes' biggest strength is his ability to create his own jump shot and he has a very advanced offensive game for a player of his size. He has the potential to excel on the defensive end as well, using his long athletic body to harass opposing players. For more on Barnes check out his DraftExpress profile.
A lock to be a top-10 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, here is a look at the five teams that are the best fits for Harrison Barnes at the next level.
Sacramento Kings, Pick No. 5
The Sacramento Kings need help in a lot of places, but small forward is an especially glaring weakness on this roster.
Coach Keith Smart's team was also one of the worst shooting teams in the NBA last year, ranking just 26th in field goal percentage at 43.6 percent. They were also an atrocious three-point shooting team ranking second-to-last in the league shooting just 31.6 percent.
Harrison Barnes is one of the more polished scorers in this year's draft class and he would make an immediate impact on the offensive end in his rookie season.
Sacramento was also the worst defensive team in the league in 2011-2012, allowing opponents to shoot 47.6 percent from the field.
While it would be extremely tough to ask a rookie to carry the load on offense and defense, Barnes has the all-around game to be the missing piece on a surprisingly talented Kings roster.
There is a very good chance that Barnes will be available when the Kings select at No. 5 and he should be the team's top player left on their draft board.
Washington Wizards, Pick No. 3
According to BulletsForever.com Harrison Barnes was the highlight of their pre-draft workout on Tuesday and the forward could potentially be a great fit for coach Randy Wittman's roster.
Right now the Wizards' biggest need is scoring, as their wing players just don't have a great deal of NBA-caliber offensive ability.
Chris Singleton and Jan Vesely are both very solid role players and great at the defensive end, but neither one has anywhere near the scoring ability that Barnes possesses.
While the Wizards may be more inclined to select Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Thomas Robinson with the No. 3 overall pick, don't be surprised if they decide to improve their wing scoring by selecting Harrison Barnes.
Cleveland Cavaliers, Pick No. 4
The Cleveland Cavaliers will be looking to build around 2011 No. 1 overall pick and Rookie-of-the-Year Kyrie Irving when the select No. 4 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft.
When talking about the Cavs needs, WaitingForNextYear.com had this to say:
I think most fans and observers agree the Cavaliers’ biggest need is scoring. More specifically, wing scoring. Beyond just scoring, though, the Cavaliers need wing players who can run in the open floor, show creativity on offense, work hard off the ball, play defense, rebound a little, and have an ability to finish at the rim.
There isn't a player projected to go in the top 10 who fits this profile better than Harrison Barnes.
Irving and Barnes would create an offensive duo that could put up big numbers on offense in 2012 while also playing exceptional defense for coach Byron Scott.
At 6'8" and 230 lbs, Barnes will also be able to rebound the ball well and, although it may take some time and development, he could be very good at getting to the hoop and scoring around the rim.
While Florida shooting guard is the popular pick in mock drafts right now for Cleveland, I think Harrison Barnes' all-around game would be a fantastic fit for Kyrie Irving and the Cavs.
Portland Trail Blazers, Pick Nos. 6 and 11
Through what is looking like a genius trade for Portland, the Trail Blazers acquired the No. 6 pick from the Nets to go along with the No. 11 pick in the 2012 NBA draft.
The Blazers have a ton of talent up front with All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and breakout forward Nicolas Batum down low.
With two first-round picks, Portland is in a great position to pick up a wing scorer and a point guard and they can do that by drafting two Tar Heels.
Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall would be great picks at No. 6 and No. 11 respectively and would fill the two biggest holes on their roster.
This is a Portland team that was just middle of the pack in scoring and Barnes would provide the team with a great immediate No. 2 option behind Aldridge.
Harrison Barnes would be a great fit for the Portland Trail Blazers with the No. 6 overall pick and he would instantly put them in the playoff picture in the Western Conference.
Charlotte Bobcats, Pick No. 2
The team with the highest overall pick on this list, the Charlotte Bobcats were far and away the worst offensive team in the NBA last season.
With that being said, Harrison Barnes would provide fellow Tar Heel alum Michael Jordan's team with a bona fide scoring threat instantly in his rookie year.
With Kemba Walker still learning the nuances of the NBA game, shooting guard Gerald Henderson is the only real scoring threat that the Bobcats have on their roster.
Adding a player with the size, perimeter game and overall scoring potential of Harrison Barnes would be a major step towards pushing the Bobcats back towards respectability.
While Harrison Barnes is moving up draft boards, it still seems unlikely that the Bobcats would select him over the one of the trio of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson or Bradley Beal.
However, there is a solid chance that Charlotte trades away the No. 2 overall pick to another lottery team and then drafting Barnes would make perfect sense for the NBA's worst team.