Best trades in Sacramento Kings history: Harrison Barnes becomes the veteran leader
This trademarks the second consecutive appearance of Steve Johnson, whose draft rights were acquired by the Sacramento Kings in this deal that sent Bill Robinzine to Cleveland. After being selected No. 7 overall, Johnson would display much promise as his career would eventually lead to him becoming a single-time All-Star in 1988 with the Portland Trail Blazers. As you should know by now, that All-Star selection did not come with the Kings as Johnson had already been dealt away for Theus in 1984.
Strangely enough, neither Johnson nor Joe Meriweather were actually acquired from Cleveland. Instead, the New York Knicks sent the pair to Sacramento. Cleveland doesn’t absolve their blame for this, however, as they wanted Robinzine and were willing to send out Campy Russell—an accomplished player in his own right—to get him. Cleveland absolutely could have received more assets in return, had they had pressed harder. In fact, Robinzine would only play 8 games for Cleveland before being packaged with two first-round picks just to get him off their books.
- Sacramento received: 22.1 future win shares
- Cleveland received: -0.1 future win shares
This trade definitely needs to clearly be acknowledged as an attempt by Dallas to clear salary and make moves in free agency, but seriously, doesn’t it feel like highway robbery? The Sacramento Kings acquired Harrison Barnes in 2019 for a former No. 15 overall pick that has yet to accomplish much in his career in the form of Justin Jackson, with Zach Randolph also attached as salary filler. While we have nothing negative to say about the former King, Dallas clearly did not want Randolph for his playing ability. They demonstrated as much by promptly waiving ZBo the very next day.
The Kings, on the other hand, secured a great veteran presence and sharpshooter in Barnes for practically free. So far, Barnes has registered 2.5 seasons with the team and is on contract through 2023. He’s averaged 15.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game with the Kings while shooting a blistering hot 39 percent from beyond the arc. With the way he’s played thus far, it’s clear to see his story in Sacramento is far from over.
- Sacramento received: 10.8 future win shares (and counting)
- Dallas received: 2.4 future win shares