by Draft Room contributor:
Leader Johnson @WriterLeader247
|Photo Credit: 247sports|
2021 5-star Patrick Baldwin Jr. is not just an elite prospect, he is a unicorn type talent at the young age of 15. Baldwin is the #1 ranked prospect in Wisconsin, #1 ranked small forward and #2 ranked prospect in the 2021 class by 247 sports. He is rated a 5-star by Rivals and ESPN who both have him as the #1 ranked prospect in the 2021 class. He plays for Hamilton high school in Sussex, Wisconsin and is 6-8 200.
Baldwin can score in many ways and is very creative with the ball in his hands. He has point guard skills with elite ball handling at 6-8 and has a deadly long range shot. He can post you up and dominate you inside and is fun to watch in the open court and as a play-maker, with one of the best basketball IQ’s in the country. Baldwin could be the number one pick in the 2022 NBA draft. I talked with him about the early attention he is getting in his recruitment plus what makes him stand out among the best prospects in the nation for 5-star corner.
LJ: What were your averages last season and in AAU?
Patrick: I think in high school I averaged 17 points, 6 boards and in AAU I averaged somewhere around 15 or 16.
LJ: In high school and AAU what were the stats of your best games?
Patrick: High school playing the number one team in the state at the time I had 37 points and 8 boards. Against NY Renaissance and I had 30 points and I made 8 3 pointers.
LJ: Do you have a dream offer?
Patrick: I used to but not really any more. Every school is an amazing opportunity in its own way.
LJ: Can you talk about your interest in Duke?
Patrick: Yeah, obviously you have a well-established power house in college basketball. There really isn’t anything you don’t like. Great coaches, great fans, good facilities, and great location on the east coast. It’s definitely an honor to be recruited by a school that offers so much as an athlete and a student not to mention the prestigious list of alumni.
LJ: Your hometown school Wisconsin. How did it feel to get that offer? What do you like about the Badgers program?
Patrick: Definitely a huge honor as well, like so many other schools they offer so many things that can benefit me on and off the court. It would be nice to play for the state that I would graduate school from.
LJ: UCLA has been a team that has really recruited well the last couple of classes. What do you think of the Bruins?
Patrick: UCLA is a great school really good guards have come out of that school and it definitely is a school that I will take a closer look at moving forward.
LJ: You are one of the top 10 prospects in high school regardless of class. You have the skills to be drafted number one overall When it’s your time. Have you thought about being a one and done?
Patrick: When the time comes when I have to make the decision I will assess all my strengths and weaknesses and whether or not I will be able to make the jump from college or if it’s beneficial to wait one more year.
LJ: What about your skill set makes you stand out. What would you offer to an NBA team as a ball player and a teammate?
Patrick: Right now my biggest asset might just be my versatility. Smaller guards or undersized forwards will really have a hard time as a mid-high post game is something I really work on. I believe I shoot the ball really well at this stage and I’ve been around basketball for so long with my dad being a D1 head coach that moment never gets too big and I will always try to make the best play possible.
LJ: You worked hard to get to this level and got a lot of room to grow, which is scary. What do you feel you need to work on the most to get to the level you want to be?
Patrick: Really right now my base is very strong so now I’m not pushed off balance like I was in the 8th grade and early freshman year. Improving my mobility, improving first step, and consistently working and perfecting basics like shooting and ball handling.
LJ: Who is your favorite Player in the NBA? Who resembles your game the most in the NBA?
Patrick: I believe that I am a product of many players. My two favorite players to watch right now and that I share some similarities with are Devin Booker and Jayson Tatum. Both of those guys are effective off the dribble, can play off the ball and on the ball sometimes. Overall they are just fun to watch.
LJ: You’re intelligent and understand the game at such a young age. Who gets the most credit for your knowledge of the game?
Patrick: Definitely my father. Just growing up and going to work every day with him when he was an assistant coach has really helped me a lot to grow mentally. Just being around high levels of basketball just provides me with a great understanding for basketball.
LJ: Do you have any upcoming visits?
Patrick: None yet
LJ: What’s the strength of your skill set that helps you make the most impact?
Patrick: Really my shooting and ability to create the best shot for my self is really what makes me most impactful. Whether that’s a quick lay up at the beginning to get going or great movement that allows me to drive a close-out or shoot over the top is really important. It’s really difficult to take a man 1 on 5 and score; I always try to find the best shot.