3 Sacramento Kings that earned untouchable status, 1 that should be cut loose

De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

1. Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes’ time as a Sacramento King has sadly run its course. While several King’s players had their share of ups and downs throughout the absolute battle of a seven-game series versus the Warriors, Barnes is the only one that doesn’t seem to have a prospective upside. When it came to this young core, Barnes was great to have as a veteran presence as the pieces were coming together. He won and lost an NBA Finals with Golden State, providing real insight and experience, but his production on the floor just isn’t cutting it. He’s not a good fit with this current team.

This became especially evident in the playoffs. Sacramento needed a defensive power forward to play beside Domantas Sabonis, someone to grab some rebounds and give Kevon Looney a run for his money. That’s just not a role Harrison Barnes can fill.

Throughout the entire series, Barnes was struggling. He averaged 10.7 points per game, compared to his season average of 15, and shot 24 percent from three, and 73.1 percent from the free-throw line. By games six and seven, his minutes were chopped in half to about fifteen a game.

The question then arises: what are the front office’s options? Barnes’ contract is expiring this year and he could walk in free agency. That would obviously be the simplest option but probably something the Kings want to avoid if possible. Despite underperforming, Barnes is still something, and letting him walk for nothing would be a missed opportunity to get some assets back in return. The ideal solution would be a sign-and-trade with the hopes of getting some draft capital to work with. The other option would be to sign him now and hope to find a deal by the deadline in 2024, but ideally sooner.