Warriors Select Barnes, Ezeli, Green And Kuzmic In 2012 NBA Draft
Four Selections Marks Most Since 1995 NBA Draft
The Golden State Warriors selected Harrison Barnes, a forward from North Carolina, Festus Ezeli, a center from Vanderbilt, Draymond Green, a forward from Michigan State and Ognjen Kuzmic, a center from Clinicas Rincon of the Spanish LEB Gold League and a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina in this evening’s NBA Draft. The league’s annual selection process took place at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, with the Warriors basketball operations staff working from the team’s draft headquarters in downtown Oakland.
“As a group we are very happy with the results tonight,” said Myers. “If we could have scripted a draft, and I know that sounds cliché, but this is the result we would have wanted. As we went through our draft board, we all spoke as a group, ‘which players do we think are good today, but are going to be better tomorrow,’ and we think all four of these players are going to be much better in six months, in a year, in two years, than they are today.”
With the 7th overall pick in the draft, the Warriors selected Barnes, an early entry candidate who played two collegiate seasons at North Carolina. A two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, Barnes appeared in 71 games during his two-year stint at Chapel Hill, averaging 16.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 31.0 minutes per contest. Additionally, he shot 43.1% from the field, 73.4% from the line and 34.9% from three-point range. Last season, the 6’8’’ forward averaged 17.1 points to lead the Tar Heels, ranking third in the ACC en route to being named First-Team All-ACC. During his freshman season, Barnes earned ACC Rookie of the Year honors and All-ACC Second-Team accolades, averaging 15.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 42.3% from the field and 34.4% from long range.
“Harrison Barnes just gets it done. He produced and played at a high level for two years,” said Myers. “He’s had a magnifying glass on him for two years in college basketball and that’s not easy for any player. He carries himself well, he’s very mature. We’re really excited about him and the thing I like the most is that he is going to improve and be a worker. So we’re thrilled. He fits what we need.”
Ezeli (pronounced Eh-ZEE-lee), whom the Warriors tabbed with the 30th pick in the draft, played four seasons at Vanderbilt, where he finished as the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots (204), breaking a mark previously held by Will Perdue (157). The 6’11’’ center averaged 7.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks while shooting .562 from the field in 121 games during his time with the Commodores. A native of Sacramento, his best season came in 2010-11 when he averaged 13.0 points and 6.3 rebounds while setting a single-season school record with 2.6 blocks per contest.
Selected with Golden State’s first pick in the second round (35th overall), Green joins the Warriors after spending four years at Michigan State where he finished as the school’s all-time leading rebounder (1,096), ranked 17th in career scoring (1,517), second in career blocks (117) and second in career steals (180). The 6’7’’ forward averaged 10.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.2 steals while shooting 46.7% from the field, 68.7% from the line and 36.1% from downtown over 145 games at Michigan State. Last season, Green led Michigan State in scoring (16.2 ppg), rebounds (10.6 rpg), steals (54) and three-pointers made (52), earning consensus First-Team All-America honors.
Kuzmic (pronounced oge-NEN KOOZ-mitch), chosen 52nd overall with the Warriors final selection of the 2012 NBA Draft, spent the 2011-12 season with Clinicas Rincon of the LEB Gold League, Spain’s second division. The 7’0’’ center averaged 10.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks, shooting 53.7% from the field over 37 contests. The Bosnia and Herzegovina native spent the 2010-11 season with KK Celik Zenica in Bosnia’s top league, D1, posting averages of 10.6 points 7.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 14 games.