Fading: Harrison Barnes
After last season’s playoffs, many fans felt like the Kings could use an upgrade at the small forward position. Upgrades like that are tough to come by, however, so Harrison Barnes returned to Sacramento.
He started the season hot, dropping 33 points on the Utah Jazz, but then cooled down quickly. When Fox went down, it seemed obvious that Barnes, the Kings’ resident veteran, would step up and take on a leadership role on the court.
Instead, he was incredibly quiet. He scored double-digits in all but one game since Fox has been out, but at no time did it feel like he was a true presence on the court. In the second game against the Rockets, for example, he might just as well have stayed at home.
Finishing the game with 3 points and 1 assist in 22 minutes, he had a hand in the Kings’ utter collapse. If he continues to not show up, who knows what Mike Brown will do with his minutes. He has said before that unless it’s Fox or Sabonis nobody’s position on the team is sacred.
Kessler Edwards was just in the rotation for the first time this season, and he was the only one able to stick with Jerami Grant during his 38-point game. If he can get his offense going, he could be a game-changer for the Kings’ defense and maybe even take some of Barnes’ minutes.
It is still early in the season, but Barnes needs to start impacting games when it actually matters.