Warriors

Warriors focus: Harrison Barnes

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Warriors focus: Harrison Barnes

This is the first of seven individual player analysis, focusing on new Warriors' faces. The Warriors have made plenty of changes since the end of the 2011-12 season. They will likely have four first-year players on their roster come the start of the season, and they also acquired veterans Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry.Center Andrew Bogut came to the Warriors in March, but hes a newcomer, too, if you factor in that he still hasnt played a game for the team yet. With training camp set to begin in early October, lets begin our player-by-player analysis of the Warriors new players.Harrison Barnes, 6-foot-8, 210 pounds, small forward.It seems like all anyone wants to know right now is whether or not Barnes, selected with the No. 7 pick in June, will be the starting small forward come the season-opener. But that question seems awfully premature at this point.Nobody is saying Barnes wont be a nice NBA player down the line. But the league is littered with high draft picks that struggle to make an impact in the first year or two of their careers. In the last two years alone, several high draft picks are struggling to find their niche, including: Derrick Williams, Tristan Thompson, Bismack Biyombo, Wes Johnson, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jimmer Fredette, etc.Jonny Flynn was the No. 6 pick in 2009, and hes not even on a roster at this point. In other words, it can be a mistake to expect too much too soon from a rookie, and Barnes is no exception. Before you start thinking about Barnes as a starter, lets see him as a bona-fide NBA player and contributor first.If Barnes proves he can be that by the end of the season, chances are the starting will have probably taken care of itself.RELATED: Harrison Barnes 2012 Summer League stats
Barnes will be competing for minutes at the small forward position along with Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson. Rush made it clear after he re-signed last month that he wants to start, and hes got as much reason to claim that spot as anyone else.Jeffersons best years are behind him, but hes still good enough and professional enough that he will be difficult to overlook. As far as playing in big games and havingplayoff experience, nobody on the Warriors can touch Jefferson. Barnes strengths seem to be his size, his athleticism and his ability to shoot the basketball in certain situations. Hes not the type of player who can consistently create his own shot and it remains to be seen whether hell become one but he does have the ability to elevate after one dribble and shoot over some defenders.Like all rookies, Barnes will struggle to defend, but theres no reason with his length and athleticism that he couldnt become an above average-wing defender over time.If theres an area where Barnes will likely struggle its in situations when hes asked to handle the ball and make quick decisions. Its not that Barnes is a bad ballhandler; hes not. Its just that hes not refined enough in that area to make plays for teammates at this point.In the open court, hes a finisher and not a facilitator.How much Barnes plays will probably be determined in large part by whether or not he can make shots consistently. Hes said to be a pretty good shooter, but his numbers in college werent that impressive: 43 percent from the field, 35 percent from 3-point range in 75 total games.Its possible his shot selection will get better in the pros because hell be focused on less by defenses particularly early in his career. Its no secret that everyone including the Warriors organization has Barnes penciled in as the teams long-term starter at small forward. When that will happen, however, is anyones guess.UP NEXT: Kent Bazemore

On his way out of OKC, Enes Kanter has Warriors-related request for Thunder

On his way out of OKC, Enes Kanter has Warriors-related request for Thunder

Editor's Note: The above video is from Nov. 3, 2016.

In a stunning move, the Thunder have reportedly agreed to include beloved center Enes Kanter as part of package to acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Knicks.

A few hours after the news of the reported trade broke, the six-year NBA veteran recorded a farewell video and posted it to Twitter.

After thanking GM Sam Presti, his mustache bro Steven Adams,  his teammates and the whole state of Oklahoma, Kanter made a special request.

"Please beat the Warriors. I'll be watching that game, so please beat the Warriors for me," Kanter said.

Tensions between the Warriors and Thunder have been raw since Kevin Durant bolted OKC for Oakland last summer. The Warriors won all four meetings with the Thunder last season and have won seven straight regular season meetings dating back to the 2015-16 season. During the 2015-16 playoffs, the 73-win Warriors erased a 3-1 series deficit and beat the Thunder in seven games to advance to the NBA Finals.

UNC cites scheduling conflict for not visiting Trump at White House

UNC cites scheduling conflict for not visiting Trump at White House

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina’s national championship men’s basketball team will not visit the White House because of a scheduling conflict.

Team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Saturday that Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams and the players were willing to go, and the university and White House tried “eight or nine” dates but none worked.

The Tar Heels, who beat Gonzaga in April to win their latest national title, visited the White House after their 2009 championship. The team was not invited when they won the 2005 NCAA Tournament.

On Saturday, President Donald Trump tweeted that Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is no longer invited to the White House because of what the president called hesitation by the two-time NBA MVP in deciding whether to make the traditional trip by the NBA champions to Washington.