1. Cleveland Cavaliers
Barnes is the type of player the Cavaliers were looking for all season long. Since they traded for Donovan Mitchell, the big question was who would be the starting small forward. Isaac Okoro eventually secured the spot with his lock-down defense, but his outside shooting was too streaky in the playoffs. Their lack of floor spacing, among other things, killed them in the first-round series against the New York Knicks, and now they need to fix that wing rotation.
Barnes is not as good of an on-ball defender as Okoro, but he is still a good enough defender, and his shooting could push the Cavaliers to the next level. Darius Garland is the only Cavalier who shot better from three than Barnes this season. It is difficult to succeed in today’s NBA without proper shooting, especially if you want to play two bigs like the Cavaliers like to do with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
Furthermore, Barnes would give them a playable veteran, which is not something the Cavaliers have plenty of. Danny Green technically fits the profile of what they are looking for, but he just returned from an injury, so he, Raul Neto, and Robin Lopez were clued to for the bench for most of the season. Ricky Rubio led the second unit during most of the regular season before he became pretty much unplayable in the playoffs. Barnes would be a much more reliable option who could support the young core and help them compete.