Will the Kings find a Harrison Barnes trade before the deadline? Let’s find out…
It’s been an underwhelming season thus far for the Sacramento Kings. With younger core players like De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield entering their early primes, the Kings were supposed to challenge for a playoff spot. However, their performance has been shaky at best, which makes them an interesting team as the NBA trade deadline approaches. Because the team has fallen short of expectations, they might look to deal some veteran players, such as swingman Harrison Barnes.
One could argue that Barnes himself has fallen short of the individual expectations scouts had for him entering the NBA. Coming into and after leaving the University of North Carolina, he was thought to be a special type of prospect who the game came easy too.
Since being drafted 7th overall by the Warriors in 2012, he hasn’t quite panned out to that level of player. However, he’s still been a very serviceable piece and a surefire starter on most NBA teams.
Harrison Barnes trade: Landing spots
In his age 28 season, this campaign has been right on par with most of the others in his career. Barnes, who has played for 3 teams in his career, is a 13.8 scorer on average. This year, he’s putting up just over 16 per game, and is shooting 83% from the free throw line. Barnes’ $22 million salary does seem a little high for a role player, but is probably only just a smidge above what fair compensation would be for someone of his skill set.
Harrison Barnes is having one of the best seasons of his career and potential playoff teams really want him pic.twitter.com/29Fr6UGT3q
— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) March 17, 2021
Which teams might call Sacramento to inquire about a Barnes trade before the deadline?
The Hornets got some tough news on Sunday night, as flashy but effective rookie guard LaMelo Ball is expected to miss the rest of the season with a fractured wrist.
Ball’s absence will likely put a damper on the franchise’s playoff hopes, but since they have not sniffed the postseason for many years, expect them to try to make a push to at least qualify for the play-in tournament.
If their potent three guard line up was still in tact, it’s possible the Hornets would not be in play for someone like Barnes. But now, they could use a little added scoring punch, and could decide to go small like many other teams in the NBA. Charlotte could package Cody Zeller and Malik Monk in a deal for Barnes, which is something the Kings might think about.
While the Hornets version of a package for Barnes is exciting, there’s one that’s more of the blockbuster variety that the Pacers could offer up. There’s been buzz about Indiana moving center Myles Turner for a couple of years now, and the Kings definitely need some more talent up front since Marvin Bagley can’t seem to stay healthy.
I've been doing a lot of reading recently on the Sacramento Kings.
That owner is a damn fool for not openly trading Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield.
— OKC YOUNG GUNS (@geola388) March 21, 2021
Shipping Turner and Edmond Sumner out west could be one of the most mutually beneficial trades in a long time.
Barnes would slot into the Pacers starting lineup as a stretch three or four, pushing All-Star Domantas Sabonis into the five position. Meanwhile, the Kings receive one of the elite rim protectors in the NBA, who can also stretch the floor a little bit.
Much like the Hornets, the Bulls are in the midst of the Eastern Conference playoff race for the first time in a few years.
The expanded postseason format the NBA has adopted will give fringe teams like Chicago the perception that they are very much in the hunt.
Since they haven’t tasted success recently, they might be inclined to acquire a player who will help down the stretch and in the years to come.
Barnes would be a reliable fit for the Bulls on a largely young roster. As Patrick Williams continues to develop into a viable wing player, Barnes could provide stability night in and night out. The Bulls will have a few ideas on how to use Otto Porter’s expiring contract. They could trade him to Sacramento for Barnes and Nemanja Bjelica, who has also been mentioned in trade talks.