Sacramento Kings: Will Harrison Barnes be back next season?
It will be a big offseason for the Sacramento Kings. GM Monte McNair will need to make some roster changes if he is to help the franchise end its 15-season playoff drought.
McNair has preached financial flexibility since being hired to replace Vlade Divac. To achieve this, McNair will likely need to be active in the commercial market during the offseason.
Sacramento has committed around $ 82.5 million in wages to De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley III and Harrison Barnes for the 2021-2022 campaign. Fox remains a foundational piece that is probably going nowhere, leaving Hield, Bagley and Barnes behind.
Barnes could be an attractive target for a team looking for a veteran wing. The 29-year-old has had a solid season for the Kings. He averaged 16.1 points and set new career highs for rebounds (6.6), assists (3.7) and field goal percentage (49.7).
Barnes missed the last 11 games of the season with a groin injury, but that’s one of the main reasons Sacramento has stayed in the play-in race for so long. His net score of minus 1.8 was the third best of any kings who have been in more than 20 games.
Sacramento’s offensive rating was 7.2 points better per 100 possessions with Barnes on the court. Barnes played more aggressively last season and was a valuable contributor when the Kings were at their best.
He averaged 18.1 points in games won by Sacramento, just behind Fox. Barnes’ scoring average fell to 14.1 in losses, according to NBA.com. Barnes’ presence on the list goes beyond the numbers.
The Kings rely on Barnes for his leadership, and he remains a staple in the community off the pitch. The decision to leave Barnes may not be popular, but if McNair can’t find a taker for Hield, the next logical step in losing his salary would be to move Barnes.
It is still due to him roughly $ 38.5 million during the last two years of his contract and could be an attractive option for a team like Minnesota Timberwolves, which would be in the market to add experience to their lineup.
Barnes’ performance could be underwhelming, but McNair could surely add a young coin and secure future assets, which will help with the financial side of things. There is pressure from the fans to return to the playoffs, but losing a hunk like Barnes might be the best option in the long run.
Do you think Barnes will be back next season?