Golden State Warriors president Bob Myers on Thursday explained rookie Patrick Baldwin Jr. could start the season in the NBA G League with the Santa Cruz Warriors.
Baldwin did not play in summer league due to a previous ankle injury, but he has impressed the team during offseason workouts. The coaches and trainers raved about his intellect and IQ on the court and believe he has a bright future ahead.
The 28th pick likely faces a difficult road in terms of playing time this season on such a veteran-heavy team. As a result, Myers said he’ll likely see time with Santa Cruz.
We talked about it the other day as far as what we expect. I think he starts there, but I don’t want to take away his chance to earn minutes. Steve is probably going to play a lot of guys in the preseason. After the sixth guy, it’s kind of who takes it. Is he going to take it? I don’t know but there’s opportunity for him if he can grab it.
Baldwin averaged 12.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 11 games last season at Milwaukee through his injury. He produced his best game of the season in his debut, recording a double-double on Nov. 9 with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
The Warriors view the selection of Baldwin from an upside standpoint and are banking he can develop into the prospect many thought he could be in high school. Myers said he is doing all of the right things at this point in the process.
All we can expect at this point is does the guy show up? Does he work hard? Is he a good kid? He’s doing all those things. We haven’t seen him play against the big guns. We are not looking at him like he’s going to help us (now) but we are looking at him as if he could help us in the future. He has all the attributes that usually lead to success: Size, skill and acumen. He looks healthy now. I am hesitant to say anybody is great or not early, but he’s done a nice job this offseason.
The Warriors tip off their preseason on Sept. 30 with two games in Japan against the Washington Wizards. Baldwin, who has no injury limitations, could see minutes in the preseason, especially if the team wants to limit time for its veterans.
As the defending champs, the Warriors may not need Baldwin to step in immediately, which will give him the chance to develop at his own pace. However, if the team can tap into his potential, his addition could pay off in a major way down the line.
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Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire