Patrick Baldwin Jr. plans to stay in draft
Patrick Baldwin Jr. entered the final college basketball season with high expectations as the No. 5 freshman in his class, according to ESPN’s rankings. After an injury-shortened freshman campaign, Baldwin Jr. is here to show why he’s still the most touted prospect with an upside many executives had in sight to start the season.
In our latest HoopsHype global mock draft, Baldwin Jr. projects himself as a late first-round pick, but he believes his stock will increase after he begins team practices.
Baldwin Jr. told HoopsHype he plans to stay in the 2022 draft and has an upcoming workout with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Find out more from his chat with HoopsHype, including why he played for his dad at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee instead of a traditional college powerhouse, player comparisons for his game, his long-term goals and more. again in our interview below.
What don’t people know about you off the pitch?
Baldwin Jr.: I like going outside. I don’t think that’s something people generally know about me. Being in a gym during my time and in a cold town of Milwaukee, when it finally warms up, it’s nice to go for a bike ride. I don’t have big hobbies. I collect trading cards. I buy them at Target and tear them up to see what I get. Other than that, it’s basketball.
You played college basketball for your dad after leaving Duke, Kentucky, and UNC. Why did you make this choice and what do you think of it now?
Baldwin Jr.: I thought this would have been a situation where we both could have helped each other out a bit. I thought I could have gone there and learned a ton of things from him in my year under his wing, basically. I think if things had gone to plan and injuries had been taken into account, I thought we could have had a really good year. I had worked for myself and my father for 18 years. The second I was born, he dreamed about it. At the age of 16 and 17, I realized how special this opportunity would be. It’s a once in a lifetime thing. I know for the year I was in college, injuries aside, I think it was the right decision.
After being a fifth rookie overall and spending last season, would going to a different school have made a difference?
Baldwin Jr.: I’m not too upset with how the season has gone. I think I definitely could have shot the ball better, and there are aspects where I could have been better. I believe if you just look at the box score and try to judge me this season, I think you are missing a lot this year. Overall, I think I had good teammates and good coaches. I don’t know if it would have been different if I hadn’t suffered any of the injuries. I would like to think that if I was in good health, this year would have been rather successful.
What’s the biggest misconception about your game?
Baldwin Jr.: I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that you can watch the tape and see some pictures that I took this year. Maybe you can question my feeling, but that’s something I never doubted. I’ve generally been a very good player to make the right read and be a good passer. I think this year my passing may be a little understated.
When you look at your measurements at the combine of over 6ft 10in, the wingspan of almost 7ft 2in, what did you hope that would show in the eyes of the leaders?
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Baldwin Jr.: I think it shows that I’m still growing. In fact, I was surprised when these numbers came out. At the beginning of the year, I tested at around 6ft 8.75 in shoes with a wingspan of 6ft 11in. Now you switch to the combine, and I’m about 6’10.75 in shoes with a 7’2″ wingspan. I think my growth rate is still open. I think the measurements are a testament that I can still grow.
Did anyone joke with you about 23.5 green standing and 26.5 green max?
Baldwin Jr.: Yeah. My dad and I joked about it a ton. I don’t take any of this personally, but at the same time I know it’s part of my progression coming back from this last year and a half. It is getting there, this step back. It’s not something I take lightly. I know I am entering an environment where they are some of the best athletes in the world. It’s something I know I need to improve. I think it’s a good basis to progress.
After receiving the combine’s feedback, do you plan to stay in the NBA draft and give up your remaining college eligibility?
Baldwin Jr.: Yes. I intend to stay. I think the feedback I’ve received is pretty good. Typically, a lot of teams didn’t even mention testing as a factor for me. A lot of what I do is shoot, space the floor, play well, and be a heady basketball player. This is something I will be banking on in this process. I have had very good feedback so far.
Why should an NBA team draft you?
Baldwin Jr.: I have the utmost confidence in myself and my abilities. I still think I’m one of the best guys in the class, and I think the circumstances I had to deal with this year were a bit unique. I seek to participate in training sessions and show them what I look like when I am healthy and fully capable of going. I still have the most confidence in myself, and as long as I can get into an NBA environment and put in those hours and be able to compete with the top guys and get better every day, I think you’ll see me rise up from where I am now.
Some people may consider you a wild card in the draft. Do you agree with that?
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Baldwin Jr.: I can understand where that is coming from this year. I still think I’m as infallible as anyone in this draft. I think I’m one of the smartest players in this class. I think I work extremely hard. Not a minute goes by that I don’t think about basketball. Once I get into an NBA environment and can compete day to day and grow, I think I’ll be one of the guys who can be one of the best guys in this class when all is said and done .
Which NBA players would you compare your game to?
Baldwin Jr.: I think that was what was cool this year. I got to play in a lot of different positions playing under my dad. There’s no particular guy I pick up, but when I watch a movie it’s heavy Michael Porter, Kevin Durant and Jayson Tatum, heavy on large wings that can pass, shoot and defend. It’s heavy Cam Johnson and Mikal Bridges. Those wings that NBA teams are looking for right now.
What did you do to prepare for the repechage with your agency, Priority Sports?
Baldwin Jr.: A big part of my pre-draft process is getting healthy and staying healthy. This is something that I lived for a year and a half. Finally being here in Chicago with these people I meet every day has allowed me to pass many medical tests with flying colors. I think as long as I’m healthy, I think I can bring something to an NBA team. A lot of it is trying to recapture that touch and feel that I missed this year. I think what’s cool about me is that the basic skills are there. It’s just about taking them through the roof and growing on these things.
Have you ever done team training?
Baldwin Jr.: No training yet. I’m training next week. First on the register is Oklahoma City, and then we’ll find out about the others.
What executive interview questions stood out to you?
Baldwin Jr.: One of the coolest questions that took a long time to answer was, “Do you like winning or do you hate losing more?” I replied, “I like to win.” I guess it had been an ongoing debate between the guys in that room. I don’t know if it was any test. A team asked me, “What would you say to your hypothetical son growing up as a basketball player?” My response was, “Develop guard skills and shooting touch.” The reasoning behind that was if he ended up growing up to 6ft 3in, but his whole life he’s been a big man, you pretty much stunted his growth at a young age as a basketball player. If he is in a Anthony Davis situation where growing up as a guard, hitting a huge growth spurt, and he’s 6-foot-10, with those guard skills and that jump shot, that makes him a special type of player.
Do you have any idea where you think you could potentially go in the draft?
Baldwin Jr.: The range is still quite wide, but the workouts should definitely decrease in this window. We are confident with the range. For me, I don’t think it matters how far I go. I know that the team that will take me will believe in me. That’s all I take away from this process. All you need is a team to fall in love with.
What do you want to accomplish the moment you hang up your sneakers?
Baldwin Jr.: There are definitely a lot of things you want to accomplish. There are All-NBA selections, MVPs, individual accolades. But I think if you look back at the careers of players, I think they’re most proud of team accomplishments like NBA championships. If you’re talking about the Warriors, you’re not talking about that 73-9 team. I want to contribute to great teams. When I hang up my sneakers, I mean I’ve contributed to all-time great teams.
Which players have you seen growing up and tried to emulate in your game?
Baldwin Jr.: Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and carmelo anthony were probably the first three players I turned to because I loved their footwork. I love the Mamba mentality. It was special. KD’s footwork is special at his height. Carmelo, when you put him in the middle of the post, his footwork is special. I gravitate towards these guys because of the detail they put into their craft.
Where do you feel in terms of development as a player, and what might your ceiling be one day?
Baldwin Jr.: I think right now I’m stacking up with anybody. On the road, I think there is no limit. I know that’s a very open-ended answer, but I really believe that if I stay engaged and watch a movie, that I learn from everyone and work on my game day by day and I improve, there is no limit to the person and the player that I can become. this league and this world. I never want to limit myself.
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