The No. 7 overall pick, in a heated battle for the Warriors’ starting small forward spot, will get his turn with the first team.
“I don’t want to guess how he’d be in the starting unit,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said after practice. “I want to see it.”
Jackson said Barnes will be in the starting lineup when Golden State hosts Maccabi Haifa on Thursday. Barnes came off the bench the first two games, averaging 22 minutes, as Brandon Rush got the nod. Rush has played well and is the better defender of the two, and the Warriors need a defensive presence at that position.
But Barnes’ effort on that end has impressed the Warriors, and his size and scoring ability has really stood out so far. This is Barnes’ best chance to place his bid for the starting job. Good timing, too, because it sounded as if coming off the bench was a blow.