Why Harrison Barnes Is Ideal Pick for Golden State Warriors

Ehran KhanContributor IIINovember 10, 2016

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Harrison Barnes (R) of North Carolina greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number seven overall by the Golden State Warriors during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Golden State Warriors got an absolute steal in the 2012 NBA draft when Harrison Barnes fell to them at No. 7 overall.

Barnes, who was expected to go as high as fourth to Cleveland, is an ideal fit for the Warriors.

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.