The Golden State Warriors selected Patrick Baldwin Jr. out of Milwaukee with the 28th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Baldwin becomes the latest young player to join the Dubs championship roster, where he hopes to help form a young foundation with Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and James Wiseman that can help Steph Curry return to championship glory, and maybe even bring titles to Dub Nation after he retires.
Baldwin averaged 12.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in his lone collegiate season at Milwaukee, but struggled mightily with efficiency. Baldwin shot just 41.8% from two and 26.6% from three but did have a solid 73.3% free-throw percentage.
Baldwin’s draft stock is tied to his high school prospects. Baldwin was a consensus top-10 recruit in the 2021 class, who flashed excellent shot-making ability as a 6’10’’ player with a 7’2’’ wingspan. Despite his ugly shooting numbers, Baldwin has a pretty stroke and many scouts believe it will translate well to the NBA, especially as he gets more open looks. He also struggled with an ankle injury this year, which limited him to just 11 games and likely impacted his overall performance.
A well below-average athlete, though, Baldwin will need to rely on his length to be effective defensively. However, even if he’s a defensive liability, his scoring potential is good enough to still be an effective role player. With that said, it puts even more pressure on him proving that his ugly shooting numbers at Milwaukee were an aberration.
It’s unlikely to expect Golden State head coach Steve Kerr to integrate Baldwin into the rotation anytime soon. However, that should give him even more time to refine his game with the Warriors developmental coaches, possibly seeing extensive playing time in G-League, and avoid the high-pressure circumstances that generally comes with a first-round selection.
The Warriors still have two second-round picks remaining in this year’s draft: the 51st and 57th overall picks. It will be interesting to see whether Golden State trades the picks for cash, targets a draft-and-stash player overseas, a potential two-way player, or tries to add a player that will compete for a roster spot on next year’s team.