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

Warriors invite player with last name Cleveland to training camp

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USATI

Warriors invite player with last name Cleveland to training camp

The Warriors made a move on Thursday.

Golden State agreed to terms on a training camp invite with Antonius Cleveland, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned.

As a senior at Southeast Missouri State last year, Cleveland averaged 16.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

He shot over 54 percent from the field and over 38 percent from 3-point territory (28 for 73).

The 6'6" guard played for the Portland Trail Blazers during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

Over six games, he averaged 5.8 points.

If Cleveland doesn't nab the 15th roster spot with Golden State, he could end up with the Santa Cruz Warriors as an affiliate player.

ESPN's Ian Begley first reported Cleveland's deal with the Warriors.

 

Report: Cavs can't get in contact with Kyrie Irving

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Report: Cavs can't get in contact with Kyrie Irving

It appears that things are not salvageable in Cleveland. 

The Cavs have tried to communicate with Kyrie Irving but he isn't speaking with anybody from the organization, according to The Athletic's Jason Lloyd.

On July 7, Irving requested a trade.

[RELATED: Cavs owner trolls Pacers over Paul George trade]

On Wednesday, new GM Koby Altman and owner Dan Gilbert addressed the questions surrounding Irving's future with the Cavs.

"These things are fluid," Gilbert said. "We think that Kyrie Irving is one of the best guards in the NBA. He was part of a championship, three years straight to the Finals and we value his talent - significantly...

"Right now, Kyrie Irving is under contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for two or three years, depending on the last year. As of now he's one of our best players and sure, we expect him to be in camp."

Irving recently returned from a Nike tour in Asia -- that included stops in Japan, Taiwan and China.

How do we know he returned?

Because he posted this to Snapchat:

The Cavs certainly don't have to honor Irving's request.

He is under contract for two more seasons -- $18,868,625 in 2017-18 and $20,099,188 in 2018-19 -- plus a $21,329,750 player option in 2019-20.

LeBron James, meanwhile, is reportedly working out with new teammate Derrick Rose in Las Vegas this week...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller