The Golden State Warriors were already full of guards and developing wings. It made sense for Mike Dunleavy Jr. to trade Patrick Baldwin Jr. away along with Jordan Poole in order to get Chris Paul. His stint with the Washington Wizards will need to prove a lot of things if he plans on staying in the NBA for the foreseeable future. The NBA Summer League was not a good look for him and there are huge aspects of his game that point towards not being ready for the league.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. was a reliable guard and small forward throughout his stint with Milwaukee basketball. His 6-foot-9 stature allows him to tower over other opponents which makes him a scoring threat from all three cylinders. This allowed him to score 12.1 points on 34.4% field goal shooting. Baldwin Jr.'s game leaves a lot to be desired. This is because his shotmaking has not been phenomenal. NBA shot mechanic coaches also needed to help elevate his outside shot because he only knocked down 26.6% from outside during his college days.
He could very well be a forward for any team. Although, that adjustment has yet to be made. The Wizards player's focus remains to be on scoring rather than developing other skills like rim protection, on-ball defense, or playmaking. He has recently developed some of these capabilities. But, his lack of minutes is holding him back from a breakout season. His NBA Summer League stint also raised some eyebrows. The 20-year-old did not have the opportunity to show what he can do on plenty of playing minutes. His ankle and toe injuries held him back from all of these chances to show greatness.
Patrick Baldwin's NBA Summer League stint
His game against the Indiana Pacers saw him score 13 points for the Wizards. Patrick Baldwin Jr.'s shotmaking was also serviceable as he knocked down 45.5% of his field goal shots. Scoring by large volumes seems to not be a problem for him but other aspects of his game need work.
He has proven to be a good wing that can switch on big men to meet them above the rim. The Wizards can also benefit from his ability to guard all positions as seen in the NBA Summer League. His three blocks against the Pacers prove his capacity to do well on the defensive side of the ball.
Much like most young guns in the NBA, he still suffers when shooting from beyond the arc. His seven attempts from outside the arc were a bit much. It was only rewarded with two makes. This would have been better if he was able to rotate the ball. Another option is to facilitate reads rather than chucking the ball from way out. His skills are already there and it will just be a matter of time before he polishes up his IQ on both sides of the floor.
A lot of improvement still has to be made for Patrick Baldwin Jr. to be a constant rotational player on an NBA roster. This can get him away from being stuck in a two-way contract. His determination to improve is a great sign that he can help the rebuilding Wizards alongside Jordan Poole, and Kyle Kuzma among others.
Will he make the jump to be a permanent rotation player for the Wizards?