Predicting Stats for Rookies on the Golden State Warriors

The Warriors had an excellent draft that begun with North Carolina star Harrison Barnes falling into their hands with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.

With a new-look franchise that hopes to evolve from a rebuilding team to a playoff contender, the Warriors did everything they could in terms of the draft. If Mark Jackson is able to incorporate the variety of skills each rookie possess, Golden State may very well be in for a playoff run.

Now here is a look at the four picks that the Warriors thought would help improve their organization now and ideally well into the future.

4. Ognjen Kuzmic, 52nd overall

Contract status: unsigned as of 7/21/12
Position: Center

And you thought Andris Biedrins name was hard to pronounce.

The 7’1” center from Bosnia adds some depth in the middle for the Warriors, a team that now has three seven-footers (Biedrins, Kuzmic and Andrew Bogut). While Biedrins better days are probably behind him, Kuzmic will be a nice option to have coming off the bench when he leaves Europe for the NBA.

The 22-year-old will likely remain in Spain for at least the 2012-13 NBA season but Kuzmic will eventually provide a solid rebounding and shot-blocking presence.

He was also the first player mentioned in the article I wrote a month ago on steals of the 2012 NBA draft.

Predicted stat line:

None, will not play in the NBA during the 2012-13 season.

3. Draymond Green, 35th overall

Contract status: unsigned as of 7/21/12
Position: Small forward

Warriors assistant coach Pete Myers has high praise for the former Michigan State star.

In an interview with CSN Bay Area’s Matt Steinmetz, Myers called Green a “coach’s dream” and someone he sees “getting some minutes this coming year…[not] many players come into the league with his skill level.”

While Harrison Barnes, Richard Jefferson and (if he re-signs) Brandon Rush will all probably get more playing time initially than Green, if Green proves that he is worthy he may get respectable minutes.

However, I do not think that will happen in 2012 regardless of his ability to play both forward positions.

Predicted stat line:

3.1 PPG / 1.6 RPG / 0.5 APG / 29 games played

2. Festus Ezeli, 30th overall

Contract status: signed, 2 years / $2.1 million with team option through 2016

Position: Center

Believe it or not, prior to the NBA Draft, Festus Ezeli was yet another choice of mine to be a steal.

Ezeli is has an NBA-ready frame, weighing 260 pounds and possessing an enormous 7’6” wingspan. Although Kuzmic will not make the Warriors roster, Ezeli has a realistic shot to compete for time that recently acquired Andrew Bogut is on bench.

His humble contribution to the Warriors will make him a fan favorite but don’t expect him to get extended minutes if Bogut stays healthy.

Predicted stat line

6.8 PPG / 4.1 RPG / 0.7 BPG / 44 games played

1. Harrison Barnes, 7th overall

Contract status: signed, 2 years / $5.7 million with team option through 2016
Position: Small forward

Harrison Barnes should be getting a clue: the Warriors are putting a lot of trust in him.

Although it looked like he would at least begin the season behind Dorell Wright in the depth chart, the Warriors proceeded to trade Wright to the 76ers for rights to Edin Bavcic (whose rights would be traded to the Hornets in the Jarrett Jack deal) and a $4.1 million trade exception (per CSN Philadelphia).

That sure makes it look like Harrison Barnes first NBA regular season game will start on the court and not on the bench.

His game should fit in nicely with the Warriors and he very well could make a run at the Rookie of the Year award.

Predicted stat line:

15.2 PPG / 4.9 RPG / 1.6 APG / 0.9 SPG / 74 games played

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