The Sacramento Kings and Harrison Barnes agreed to a new deal on Thursday, reportedly worth $54 million over three years, according to ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
Harrison Barnes was set to enter unrestricted free agency on July 1st after there was speculation over his future as a King. Barnes, an 11-year veteran, will remain on the Sacramento roster through the end of the 2025-26 season.
Barnes averaged 15 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game during the 2022-23 NBA season while shooting 47.3% from the field and 37.4% from beyond the arc. He also started in all 82 games this season, as well as every game during the Kings’ first postseason appearance since 2006.
Harrison Barnes, 31, is a leader on the Kings who no doubt helped lead the Kings to the three seed last year. He has the experience that the younger guys on the team do not have, especially after all his time with the Golden State Warriors and winning a championship in 2015.
What this means for Sacramento’s free agency
This changes things drastically for Sacramento. After trading away the 24th pick and Richaun Holmes during the 2023 NBA draft, the Kings had around $30 million in cap space. The Kings were previously linked to free-agent targets such as Kyle Kuzma and Draymond Green, as well as EuroLeague MVP Sasha Vezenkov, but Barnes’ new contract limits options for the Kings.
Many thought that the trade to free up cap space was done to target previously mentioned big-name targets – not to re-sign Barnes, but it appears Sacramento has taken a different direction with this. Details of the contract are still yet to be announced, so we do not know the exact amount of cap space the Kings will have to work with now, but this off-season shifts from targeting a star free-agent to signing role players, or potentially a trade.
This could be a sign-and-trade move from the Kings. Barnes fell out of rotation during the playoff series against the Warriors, and if he was re-signed, it was expected that it would be on a much lesser deal for a bench role. If he makes an estimated $18 million per year, it seems like a lot of money to pay a guy to just ride the bench. The Kings could shift to trading Barnes away for other options to address their struggles at the wing.
This will surely cause mixed reactions among the entire fanbase, but putting trust in Monte McNair is what Sacramento fans need to do right now. Get ready for an interesting off-season.