Why Harrison Barnes Is Ideal Pick for Golden State Warriors

Ehran KhanContributor IIIJune 28, 2012

The Golden State Warriors made Harrison Barnes the No. 7 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
The Golden State Warriors made Harrison Barnes the No. 7 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.Elsa/Getty Images

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.