Harrison Barnes Can Fit In With The Washington Wizards

1:55 PM, Jun 27, 2012   |    comments
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NEW YORK, Ny. (WUSA) -- Earlier today, I presented two options for the Wizards if shooting guard Bradley Beal happened to be swooped from underneath the Wizards noses. Both involved trading.

Well, I'm here to correct myself. Harrison Barnes himself has swayed me into thinking he could be a fit with the Washington Wizards.

I know what most of you are screaming about, because I've been saying Barnes is a inferior option for months too.

Why would the Wizards take such a gamble on a guy who disappointed on the biggest stage in college? Why would the Wizards try and flip his position to shooting guard, already putting him at a disadvantage in the league? He plays shorter than what he's listed at and isn't a great defender.

Somehow, someway, Harrison Barnes left a lasting impression on me. He knows exactly who he is as a person and basketball player. 

"I'm entering a league of the best. I'm definitely starting at the bottom of the totem pole," Barnes said on Wednesday at the Westin Hotel in New York City. "I'm very humble for the opportunity. It's not always going to be smooth. I'm just going to continue to work and continue to make progress."

There have been plenty of college players whose basketball game was much more suited for the NBA style of play. Athletic specimens like Russell Westbrook, Rajon Rondo, James Harden and Luol Deng are recent examples of draftees who left college with many questions surrounding their games, yet all were able to find their niche in the league.

"I like isolation basketball. That's a large part of the NBA. I think I'll be able to penetrate," responded Barnes to a question on how he'll be better in the NBA than how he was at UNC.

The Wizards, probably more than any team in the league need  a shooting guard who can create. And with their apparent win-now mode, Barnes understands he will have to transition quick to playing the two-guard position.

"Playing shooting guard would be an adjustment. The ball-handling responsibilities would be more. Defensively, you'd have to guard smaller quicker guys. [Shooting guards] are usually the go-getters for other teams," said Barnes.

As for Barnes weakness?

"Creating for others," which seems to be a weakness for 80 percent of the league.

What does he think will happen tomorrow?

"I hope I go to the green room and get drafted," said to a hoard of laughing reporters.

He's coachable, likable, sharp and dedicated. And he's used to being under a heavy microscope. Barnes is arguably the most scrutinized college basketball player ever.

"I think he had huge expectations, and anytime you have that big of expectations, it's tough to live up to them," commented Barnes' teammate Tyler Zeller, also a likely lottery pick. "It was tough to see."

Barnes added on the criticism: "That's what we sign up for."

Harrison Barnes may flop in the NBA, but my best guess is that in a few years, we will be grouping him with Deng-Harden etc. as guys who were more suited for the professional game.

If it happens to be the case, sign me up for Barnes.

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