Mar 25, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Barnes (40) controls the ball as Kansas Jayhawks guard Travis Releford (24) defends during the first half of the finals of the midwest region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
NEW YORK -- Harrison Barnes has emerged as a top draft choice for the Washington Wizards, in large part because the Wizards, at least reportedly, believe that he can slide over and play shooting guard. The Wizards just traded for Trevor Ariza to play small forward, so there's definitely a larger hole at the off-guard position.
The only problem is that Barnes himself didn't seem too keep on playing the position when talking to reporters at the 2012 NBA Draft media day.
"I think I'm a small forward," Barnes said when I asked him what position he saw himself playing. "I think I can come in and play small forward and shooting guard. But shooting guard would be an adjustment."
Specifically, Barnes said that he needs to improve his ability to "create for others," and also noted other adjustments he'll need to make if asked to play shooting guard.
"The ball-handling responsibilities would be more," Barnes said. "Oviously defensively, you have to guard smaller, quicker guys, usually the go-getters on those teams."
Barnes certainly didn't close the book on playing the position, but it seemed to me like he prefers to play the 3. He noted that he "likes isolation basketball," and shooting guards aren't doing that quite as much these days as they were in the past.
This is just something for the Wizards to think about if the Cavaliers jump ahead of them to steal away Bradley Beal.
More coverage live from New York to come.