February 25, 2012; Charlottesville, VA USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Barnes (40) shoots the ball against the Virginia Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena. The Tar Heels won 54-51. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

FanSided NBA Mock Draft - Pick No. 5: Sacramento Kings Select Harrison Barnes

Fansided’s NBA Editors gathered the past few days to conduct a Mock NBA Draft and we here at A Royal Pain selected North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes with the fifth pick of the 2012 NBA Draft.

Profile:

Harrison Barnes
Small Forward
6’8
228lbs
North Carolina Tarheels

Background:

Had Harrison Barnes entered the NBA Draft for the 2011-12 season, many projected the young Tarheel to be a top 3 pick, but the native of Ames, Iowa opted to return to the Carolina Blue for his sophomore season, a decision that may have cost the ‘Black Falcon’ a couple million dollars in guaranteed money. Currently ranked as the number two wing in the draft by most, Barnes is full of potential despite his struggles in the NCAA tournament where he could only amass an atrocious 20 for 61 (33%) and was continually denied the ability to create his own shot. The loss of teammate Kendall Marshall allowed opposing defenses to focus in on Barnes, resulting in Carolina’s Elite 8 ousting.

Why Decision Was Made To Select Barnes:

With Thomas Robinson off the board early and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist going to Cleveland with the fourth pick, Sacramento was left to pick the final piece of the ‘five man draft’. While players like Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond were still on the board, a need for outside shooting and an improvement to the Kings small forward position was too good to pass up. Barnes also proves to be the more NBA ready talent of other players considered, giving the Kings a better opportunity to win now then three to four years down the road. While Barnes was not the preferred pick (we were hoping Robinson or Kidd-Gilchrist would fall), he was the safest and most logical remaining prospect.

How Does Barnes Fit In With Sacramento:

With a mass amount of players who command the ball to be successful and a roster that, outside of Marcus Thornton and Jimmer Fredette (who hasn’t shown his range yet) lacks outside shooting, the Kings needed a player to spread the floor, an ability that Barnes could become elite at. The Kings also have had a revolving door at their small forward position the last few seasons, so Barnes’ addition will finally give them some closure at the three. A very polished and smart player, Barnes’ game reflects much of what the Kings lack, so his excellent scoring instincts along with his knowledge of the game will go a long way with the current Kings core.

Best Case And Worst Case Scenarios:

As mentioned above, Harrison Barnes is dripping with talent. The top overall recruit coming out of high school in 2010, Barnes has many tools to succeed at the NBA level and some may even go as far as saying he can become an elite talent if the stars correctly align. Potential is a nasty, filthy word, but he certainly has the skills to become a very successful starting three in this league, enjoying a lengthy career that in a best case scenario results in a few All-Star appearances. One of the more positive aspects for Barnes (assuming you view it that way) is the low basement Barnes possesses, meaning even at his worst, he still projects as a valuable asset with his deep shooting and polished mid-range game. With an ability to play at least adequate defense, Barnes is one of the most safe picks in the draft, so while he may not be a six or eight time All-Star, he certainly is worthy of a top five pick and will be a franchise fixture for quite some time.

Here is the rest of Fansided’s NBA Mock Draft (sans the final two picks which will be updated later):

1. Anthony Davis (NOH)
2. Thomas Robinson (CHA)
3. Brad Beal (WAS)
4. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CLE)
5. Harrison Barnes (SAC)
6. Andre Drummond (POR)
7. John Henson (GSW)
8. Jeremy Lamb (TOR)
9. Arnett Moultrie (DET)
10. Tyler Zeller (BOS from NOH)
11. Austin Rivers (POR)
12. Perry Jones (MIL)
13. Kendall Marshall (PHX)
14. Damian Lillard (HOU)
15. Terrence Ross (PHI)
16. Dion Waiters (HOU)
17. Terrence Jones (DAL)
18. Meyers Leonard (HOU)
19. Moe Harkless (ORL)
20. Jared Sullinger (DEN)
21. Royce White (NOH from BOS)
22. Tony Wroten, Jr. (NOH from BOS)
23. Quincy Miller (ATL)
24. Andrew Nicholson (CLE)
25. Marquis Teague (MEM)
26. Fab Melo (IND)
27. Evan Fournier (MIA)
28. Draymond Green (OKC)
29. Bulls
30. Warriors

Tags: Andre Drummond Damian Lillard Fansided Harrison Barnes Jimmer Fredette Marcus Thornton Michael Kidd-Gilchrist NBA Draft Sacramento Kings Thomas Robinson

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