2. Barnes is an efficient scorer
In the Kings’ starting five, Barnes is not a priority. Fox and Sabonis are obviously the two top options offensively and have plays run for them all the time. Huerter runs a lot of DHOs with Sabonis, getting his fair share of shots up.
Even youngster Keegan Murray has leapfrogged Barnes in the offensive hierarchy, averaging the third-most field goal attempts on the team as Mike Brown and the Kings want to turn him into a true two-way star.
Barnes doesn’t get many plays run for him or many touches outside the natural flow of the offense, averaging only 8.7 field goal attempts per game, which is good for sixth-most on the team. He still averages 12.1 points, however, because he is a very efficient scorer, shooting 47.9 percent from the field.
Sabonis is the only Kings player averaging more attempts and shooting more efficiently. Having a fifth option who reliably converts the few shot attempts they get is incredibly valuable, and you can’t ask just anyone to do that.
Lately, he has been getting a lot more shot attempts and has been much more aggressive on that end of the floor than he was most of the season so far. Big numbers from Barnes obviously help the Kings win, and they can always go to him more when others’ shots just aren’t falling.
At the same time, however, he doesn’t need 15 shot attempts every night to give the Kings solid scoring numbers. That way, Fox, Sabonis, and Monk get to shine offensively when they have it going, and Murray can get enough touches to grow offensively.