Veteran wing Harrison Barnes is one of the few members of the Sacramento Kings organization that has NBA championship experience under his belt. As the Kings sit fourth in the western conference, keeping Barnes to help end the teams’ outrageous playoff drought makes a lot of sense.
With that being said, Barnes is in the last year of his contract. That means he is set to hit the free-agent market this off-season. Would the Kings consider moving him as part of the right package due to his expiring contract?
It’s possible the front office doesn’t see him in the team’s long-term plans. Barnes will be 30 this offseason and is likely to be expecting a multi-year contract that averages over $14 million per season.
With rookie forward Keegan Murray in the picture, the Kings could elect to spend that money elsewhere and ask Murray to bear more offensive responsibility moving forward.
If it’s known within the organization that Barnes isn’t going to be extended or re-signed regardless of the circumstances, trading him may actually be on the table. Despite the Kings desire to win games this season they have to remain equally focused on the big picture.
Barnes is on an absolute offensive tear right now and its inevitable teams will reach out about his status as the trade deadline gets closer. The expiring contract in addition to his championship experience makes him a very desirable player to almost every NBA contender.
Whether the Kings will even entertain such offers remains to be seen. They could still prefer to re-sign him at the end of this season which would make all trade calls regarding him essentially dead on arrival.
A lack of interest will not stop teams from reaching out, though. This brings us to the big question: Could the Cleveland Cavaliers target Harrison Barnes in an NBA traded deadline blockbuster?
Could Kings Harrison Barnes be a target of the Cleveland Cavaliers?
WKYC recently mentioned Harrison Barnes as a potential trade target for the Cleveland Cavaliers at this year’s NBA trade deadline. This is speculation, but how much sense does the idea make for Cleveland?
In short, it makes a ton of sense from the Cavaliers perspective. Cleveland has one of the most interestingly built rosters in the NBA and it’s oozing with talent. The frontcourt duo of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley offers opponents nightmares while the backcourt combination of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell is as tough as any to match up with.
The Cavs are a legitimate threat in the eastern conference and are capable of knocking out any of the top teams in a seven-game series. The one thing they are missing, though, is a two-way wing like Harrison Barnes.
They’ve been starting players such as Isaac Okoro and Lamar Stevens at the small forward spot for most of the season. While that keeps their strong bench unit intact, it creates an obvious and glaring hole in the starting lineup. If they were able to insert Barnes into that fifth starting spot, the Cavs would become that much more dangerous of a team.
He’d offer them another player that can score in the halfcourt while also providing strong perimeter defense for the tough matchups the Cavs will have in the eastern conference playoffs. There is absolutely no doubt that the Cavaliers would be improving if they were able to acquire Barnes from the Kings.
That is assuming they don’t move any of their core players, which they would never do in a deal for Barnes. Instead, it would likely have to be a package built around the Cavs shipping out one of Kevin Love or Caris LeVert.
For that reason, the Cavs pursuit of Barnes would likely have to be a multi-team trade. Regardless of how it can or would get done, it’s quite understandable where the WKYC article was coming from with their trade target idea.
Harrison Barnes would be the perfect trade target for the Cleveland Cavaliers. We’ll see if the Cavs agree in the coming weeks before learning exactly what the Kings plan on doing with Barnes down the stretch.