With the emergence of Klay Thompson in the second half of last season and the acquisition of Andrew Bogut, Golden State's starting lineup had a glaring hole at small forward where Dorell Wright was a major disappointment last year following his breakout 2010-11 campaign.
What the Warriors will get in Barnes is a very polished scorer with an excellent jump shot. The North Carolina sophomore also has terrific size for a small forward and is one of the best athletes in this draft class.
Warriors head coach Mark Jackson will love this kid. The Barnes pick is a logical move for an organization looking to change their philosophy from outright gunners to a fundamentally sound squad that plays defense.
Given Barnes' size, athleticism and competitive drive, he makes for a potentially elite lockdown perimeter defender, something the Warriors have been craving since their regime change.
Golden State is getting a tremendous value with the selection, as Barnes entered college as the presumed No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft.
Though he didn't quite live up to the hype at times at UNC, Barnes projects to be a better pro than collegian. His upside is tantalizing, with his potential to become a legitimate focal point in Golden State's offensive attack.
Having filled a critical need and getting an incredible value with Barnes, the Warriors have already secured a high grade for their 2012 draft.