Harrison Barnes: Breaking Down Top Destinations for Former UNC Star
Harrison Barnes is one of the more perplexing figures in the 2012 NBA draft class.
On one hand, he's a pure scorer, a smooth 6'8" forward with a long wingspan, advanced mid-range game and fluid shooting stroke. On the other, he's a perimeter player who doesn't have an explosive first step, the athleticism to finish at the rim or the ability to create his own shot.
His ceiling isn't as high as some of the other players in this class, but with his proven ability to knock down outside shots, somebody will draft him in the top 10.
The following teams would be the best fits for the former UNC star.
The Cavaliers would be the ideal team for Barnes, as they already have a budding star in Kyrie Irving, a solid young power forward in Tristan Thompson and a quality center in Anderson Varejao.
Barnes sometimes struggled with the spotlight at UNC, and with Irving on the team, he wouldn't have to worry about being the center of attention. His inability to create his own shot also wouldn't be an issue, as Irving is one of the best young passers in the league.
While Barnes is a decent defender, he doesn't have the lateral quickness to keep up with the game's more athletic forwards. But with Varejao and Thompson waiting in the paint, his defensive deficiencies wouldn't be nearly as big of an issue.
If I were Barnes, I would be praying for Cleveland to draft me at No. 4.
Portland Trail Blazers
With Nicolas Batum heading into restricted free agency, Barnes is a good option for the Blazers. He would take some of the scoring load off of LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews, while also coming with a much more favorable price tag than Batum.
For Barnes, this would also be a good scenario. Once again there's a star (Aldridge) to draw most of the attention, and a talented collection of players that would give him a chance to win right away.
The point guard situation is iffy, but the Blazers may address that by picking up Tony Wroten or Barnes' UNC teammate Kendall Marshall at No. 11.
Barnes would also get the opportunity to play in one of the best basketball cities, as Portland's fans are as passionate and supportive as any in the NBA.
Golden State Warriors
If the Warriors could actually stay healthy, they would have a pretty promising roster.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are one of the best young backcourt duos in the league, David Lee is a quality forward and Andrew Bogut is one of the league's top centers when he can stay on the court.
Add in a small forward like Barnes, and the Warriors future would suddenly become even more intriguing. He's not the defensive presence they so desperately need, but he would give the starting lineup a ridiculous amount of firepower.
If Barnes is still available at No. 7, the Warriors should definitely pick him up.
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