What Dubs fans can expect from Baldwin Jr. in 2022-23 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Warriors drafted 19-year-old Patrick Baldwin on June 23, and by the following afternoon he was offering polite defense of his lone season in college.
“I’ve never been a part of a losing environment like that,” Baldwin told NBC Sports Bay Area when introduced at Chase Center on June 24. “I’m just ready to take what didn’t work there and learn from it and grow from it and apply it to this situation.”
His self-defense plea didn’t end there. After a disappointing, abbreviated season at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Baldwin went to the NBA pre-draft combine and posted athleticism tests that impressed no one.
His comment: “I’m a better athlete than I showed that day.”
Despite the red flags, the Warriors drafted Baldwin in the first round, No. 28 overall, with the hope that they can mine the gifts that made the 6-foot-10 forward a five-star recruit coming out of high school.
No doubt Baldwin’s last two years have been a physical nightmare, beginning with torn ligaments/bone bruise to his left ankle initially sustained early in his senior year at Sussex Hamilton High in Milwaukee and aggravated in college.
Prior to the draft, Baldwin was examined by Rick Celebrini, Golden State’s director of sports medicine and performance. Celebrini came away believing the youngster should be fine – once he is fully healed.
Which gave the Warriors the green light to select Baldwin as a low-risk gamble with potential for high reward. They believe, as does Baldwin, that his showings UWM and the combine were adversely affected because he was hurt.
The good news is that Baldwin, who missed Summer League, has recovered well enough to participate in full-contact drills, with the likelihood that he’ll be ready when training camp opens next weekend.
Baldwin profiles as an NBA stretch-4, with 3-point-shooting range. His fundamentals are sound – perhaps because Patrick Baldwin Sr. is a career basketball coach.
Baldwin's immediate future, however, will be about getting through training camp healthy, after which he should anticipate spending a considerable amount of time with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors. With so little activity the past two years, he needs to participate under game conditions before there is any chance of evaluating him fairly.
The NBA Warriors are deep enough that Baldwin is not expected get much, if any, playing time as a rookie. His situation is not much different from that of Kevon Looney in 2015-16.
Looney entered the NBA as a teenager with health concerns, and the Warriors were patient from the start. Despite multiple surgeries, he is a seven-year veteran who has been a valuable contributor to three championship teams.
Though observers like what they’ve seen in workouts, patience is the word on Baldwin. Don’t expect to see much of him as a rookie – unless you make the trip to Santa Cruz.