Will Harrison Barnes Be The Golden State Warriors Starting Small Forward?

The Golden State Warriors made a change at the small forward position over the summer as starter Dorell Wright was part of a three-team trade that sent him to the Philadelphia 76ers. For head coach Mark Jackson the move means he’ll need to decide between Richard JeffersonBrandon Rush or first round draft choice Harrison Barnes.

For Rush he was one of the biggest steals for the Warriors as he came from the Indianapolis Pacers for Louis Amundson.  He did not disappoint with a career year. Known primarily for his defense he showed that he is a capable scorer and in 65 games including one start he averaged 9.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, .9 blocks on 50.1 percent shooting, 45.2 percent from three and 79.3 percent from the free throw line.

Against the Los Angeles Lakers he scored a season high 23 points on 9-15 shooting and against the Portland Trail Blazers he registered his only double-double of the season when he scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. In four seasons in the NBA he averages 9.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, on 43.9 percent shooting, 41.3 percent from three and 72 percent from the free throw line.

With a healthy Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut the Warriors can stretch the floor and Rush would be the beneficiary of a number of open looks from beyond the arc and by playing solid defense he should definitely be the front-runner for the starting small forward spot.

Barnes is the other option and in two seasons at the University of North Carolina he averaged 16.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, on 43 percent from the field, 34.9 percent from three and 73.5 percent from the free throw line. In his Sophomore year he raised his scoring, steals, field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage. His rebounds, assists and free throw percentage decreased.

In the Summer League in the five games he averaged 16.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, .4 assists, 1.8 steals, on 39.5 percent shooting, 57.1 percent shooting from three and 72.7 percent from the free throw line. At this point he is better suited coming off the bench and that means he provides instant scoring and he will be coming off the bench with veterans Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack.

Since Rush is coming off a career season as well as shooting over 50 percent from the floor, over 45 percent from three and his solid defense and has more experience he deserves the starting small forward role for the Warriors in 2012-2013.

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  • WIL

    I CAN DEFINITELY GO EITHER WAY, I’D LIKE BOTH STARTING, AND I WOULDN’T DISCARD NOR MIND JEFFERSON FROM STARTING EITHER. I’D SAY MAY THE ONE WHO IS HUNGRIER THE MOST AND WANTS IT THE MOST WIN. I’D SAY MAY THE BEST ONE THAT SHOWS THEY WANT IT BAD ENOUGH THROUGH TRAINING CAMP AND PRESEASON WINS.

    ALTHOUGH, MY PREFERENCE WOULD BE HARRISON BARNES, WE DIDN’T SACRIFICE SO MUCH LAST SEASON FOR NOTHING, WE DIDN’T ENDURED SUFFERING THROUGH TANKING FOR NOTHING, WE DIDN’T DRAFT OUR 7TH PICK TO BE SEATING ON THE BENCH, NO WAY, NO HOW!!! HARRISON SHOULD START! BUT IN ORDER FOR HIM TO START HE HAS TO PUT IN THE WORK NOW AND BE TOUGH MENTALLY TO WITHSTAND ALL PRESSURE AND NOT SHOW HE IS AFRAID TO COMPETE FOR THE STARTING POSITION AND BEYOND. HE IS GOT ALL THE TOOLS AND PHYSICALL STRENGTH AND SKILL SET TO START.

    NOW BRANDON RUSH ON THE OTHER HAND, MAKES IT SO HARD ON ME TO EVEN CHOOSE, BRANDON RUSH IS JUST A COMPLETE STUD AND BALLER; THIS GUY SHOULD DEFINITELY COMPETE FOR THE STARTING POSITION NOT ONLY FOR THE SMALL FORWARD POSITION, BUT FOR THE SHOOTING GUARD POSITION AS WELL, BRANDON RUSH IS A PROVEN AND TESTED PLAYER, AWESOME DEFENDER, BRINGS TOUGNESS, EXPERIENCE AND LEADERSHIP BRANDON RUSH IS THE TOTAL PACKAGE, HE’LL MAKE AN IMPACT RIGHT AWAY WITH HIS DEFENSE ALONE, BUT HE BETTER SURPRISE US WITH THE NEW MOVES HE LEARNED IN THE OFFSEASON TO TILT THE BALANCE AND HELP THE COACHING STAFF MAKE THE DECISION EASIER, IF BRANDON SHOWS US SOMETHING ELSE, WE HAVEN’T SEEN YET, HE’LL GET THE NOD, WE KNOW WHAT HE CAN DO FROM THE THREE POINT LINE, BUT THE QUESTION IS, CAN HE GET TO THE RIM AND BE A PLAYMAKER? THAT WOULD BE THE DETERMINING FACTOR IN MY BOOK. I’M ALL FOR BRANDON RUSH AS WELL, LOVE BRANDON RUSH’S DON’T HOLD NO PRISONER ATTITUDE! THIS GUY GOT IT BE FROM MY HOOD!!! LOL

    RICHARD JEFFERSON, WHAT ELSE IS THERE TO SAY ABOUT HIM, HE IS A PROVEN VETERAN WITH A WEALTH OF PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE, GREAT BASKETBALL IQ, HE IS A LEADER, WE (THE YOUNG CORE AND COACHING STAFF) CAN LEARN FROM HIM, HE HAS BEEN BATTLE TESTED FROM THE BEST, HE HAS BEEN A STUDENT OF THE GAME FROM ONE OF THE BEST COACHES IN THE LEAGUE IN POPOVICH (SAN ANTONIO’S COACH). JEFFERSON CAN ADD STABILITY, TOUGHNESS, EXPERIENCE AND LEADERSHIP AND CAN BE THE GLUE OF THE TEAM BETWEEN TWO YOUNG GUARDS AND TWO VETERANS (BIGS) DAVID LEE AND ANDREW BOGUT. JEFFERSON CAN PLAY, HE CAN MAKE UP FROM HIS PHYSICAL AGING DETERIORITY WITH HIS BASKETBALL SAVINESS AND EXPERIENCE, I STILL THINK JEFFERSON CAN SHOW HIS AGING IS NO ISSUE, HE JUST NEEDS THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW HE HASN’T LOSE ONE STEP. YOU GO JEFFERSON I’M ALL FOR YOU, BUT ONCE AGAIN, HARRISON BARNES MAKES IT HARDER FOR ME TO FLAT OUT CHOOSE YOU AND BRANDON RUSH MAKES IT HARD FOR ME TO CHOOSE YOU OVER HIM. IS A TOSS UP, BUT HARRISON BARNES IS MY FIRST CHOICE AND BRANDON RUSH IS MY SECOND CHOICE AND YOU ARE MY THIRD, BUT I’D BE HAPPY EITHER WAY!