5 players for the Orlando Magic to watch at the NBA Draft Combine

Kentucky's Shaedon Sharpe warms up Jan. 25, 2022.Syndication The Courier Journal
Kentucky's Shaedon Sharpe warms up Jan. 25, 2022.Syndication The Courier Journal /
4 of 6
Patrick Baldwin Jr., Milwaukee Panthers
UW-Milwaukee guard Patrick Baldwin Jr. (23) drives along the baseline during the first half of their game against Rhode Island Monday, December 13, 2021 at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena in Milwaukee, Wis.Pantmen14 11 /

5 players to watch at the NBA Draft Combine

Patrick Baldwin Jr., Milwaukee

There was no bigger disappointment in this upcoming NBA Draft class than Patrick Baldwin Jr.

He entered the season a sure Lottery pick and a potential top-five pick candidate. There are a lot of people who thought the 6-foot-9 forward was going to be a scoring dynamo. and playing at a smaller school in Milwaukee (for his father, no less) would seemingly put him on full display.

That also seemingly displayed his flaws.

Baldwin did not live up to the billing that had him as one of the best players in his recruiting class.

Baldwin averaged 12.1 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game. He shot 34.4-percent from the floor and 26.6-percent from beyond the arc.

It was just a bad season that ended with Milwaukee going 10-22, including 8-14 in the Horizon League, and ended up getting Baldwin Sr. fired. Baldwin Jr. is now in the transfer portal if he decides to return to college.

Baldwin Jr. is still expected to be in the first round. But even that is not assured.

If there is a guy who could quietly start climbing boards in draft workouts and the Combine, it should be Baldwin Jr. That talent does not disappear. It is hard to be this completely wrong on a guy.

Baldwin Jr. has a lot to overcome and prove. He has to show the game tape from his time at Milwaukee is not who he is. And that is a lot to overcome.

I would expect Baldwin Jr. not only to participate in drills at the Combine but also to play in the 5-on-5 games — at least the first one. That would give Baldwin a chance to show he has grown and improved and fits into the NBA culture. That should at least get him some workouts.

And even then, Baldwin Jr. should be seeking out players in his draft range and trying to show them up in workouts. That is the only way he is going to climb the rankings and start creating some positive momentum.

If not, Baldwin Jr. should probably head back to college and find a better situation to build up tape again. He needs to get himself in front of as many people as he can and show he is ready to compete and rebuild his reputation and draft stock.