Sacramento Kings landed small forward Harrison Barnes in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.
Randolph might not be a Maverick for long and could move on the buyout market. Jackson was the 15th pick of the 2017 NBA draft and has upside, he is a useful piece heading into the Mavericks’ new era with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
Crucially for Dallas, this frees up a lot of salary. Barnes has a $25 million player option for next season (which he’s likely to take) – that would have put Dallas in a tricky position as they revamp the roster. They have $13 million in cap room at the moment and have a hefty trade exception of over $20 million. Most importantly of all, they have regained some of the financial flexibility they had prior to taking on the Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee contracts in the Porzingis deal.
Sacramento have been on the lookout for a three all season to complement De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield. The Kings seemed likely to make a move ahead of the deadline as they look to end their long postseason drought.
Barnes’ contract is a little inflated given the market rate, but Sacramento – like many other NBA teams – cannot compete for the elite free agents. Acquiring players of Barnes’ calibre via trade is their best means of improving their roster. It is an upgrade, and one that could make the difference as they jostle for position in the middle of the West.
This trade ticks boxes for both teams. Dallas get the financial manoeuvrability they need, while the Kings get stronger in the short-term and have a shot at keeping Barnes around as their team develops.