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NBA Draft: Could Barnes bounce up to Cavaliers at No. 4?

Jun 6, 2012, 12:55 PM EDT

Kentucky v North Carolina Getty Images

There was a time, more than a year ago, when it was thought Harrison Barnes could be the top pick in the draft.

He still has skills — he can shoot well, defend well and has a smooth, versatile game — but it took them a while to start to come out at North Carolina. He didn’t live up to expectations and there are concerns about his ability to create his own shot. He’s slid down the board to as far as No. 7, where DraftExpress has him now.

But he might not get past Cleveland at No. 4, reports Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated.

The Cavaliers are very high on the 20-year-old small forward and appear unlikely to let him slip past them at the No. 4 slot in the June 28 draft, according to sources. While this week’s predraft combine in Chicago and subsequent team workouts could always change things, rival executives are planning for Barnes to be off the board by the time the fifth pick (Sacramento) rolls around.

It makes the top of the draft interesting because somebody suprisingly good could slip all the way to the Kings at No. 5.

Anthony Davis is going No. 1 to the Hornets, that’s a lock. At No. 2 the Hornets will take either Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Thomas Robinson. The Wizards at No. 3 might take Kidd-Gilchrist if he’s there but they also like Bradley Beal. If the Cavaliers really are that high on Barnes (they shouldn’t be higher on him than Kidd-Gilchrist) then the Kings will get someone like Robinson or Beal or Kidd-Gilchrist to slip through.

My current guess is the draft order is Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist, Robinson, Beal and then the Kings can go with Barnes, even though they are loaded on the wing. Or if they really want to roll the dice there is Andre Drummond.

All of which is to say what we’ve been saying for a while — there is a lot of quality players who can help teams at the top of this draft.

  1. jonka - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    As a cavs fan I prefer beal over barnes.
    Barnes just doesnt look like he could ever be good enough to be kyries #2.

  2. cranespy - Jun 6, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    Uhhh….I thought it was the Bobcats who had the #2 pick?! Cmon Mike you are a Mountaineer… gotta have better quality control than that!

  3. bparmalee - Jun 6, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    The Hornets have the 1st and 2nd pick?? Man… Stern must be at it again!!! This sounds a lot like bs to me….looks like the Cavs want to get some cash and slide back a few picks.

  4. bleed4philly - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Barnes is going to be special, wherever he goes.

  5. sauvy2324 - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Barnes is basically the same player as danny green and thats working out wellish (not tonight obviously)

  6. trickybastard - Jun 7, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    It’s a misstatement to say “Kings are loaded on the wing”.

    The Kings have a huge hole at the SF spot. Barnes would precisely be what they’d look for in this draft.

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