1. Barnes is okay playing his role
Barnes is an NBA Champion and had some big scoring seasons during his time in Dallas. Nevertheless, he is fine playing a relatively small role in the Kings’ system. As mentioned before, his offensive touches are not a priority, and he has to find a way to impact the game without the ball in his hands a lot.
That is not an easy or glorious thing to do. You have to do all the little things, like crashing the glass, going after 50-50 balls, and working on defense. Many of these things don’t show up in the box score and don’t get the same recognition as putting up huge scoring numbers.
Barnes is not perfect when it comes to doing those things. He is having the worst rebounding season of his career so far, for example, and doesn’t dish out many assists. The fact is, however, that Barnes is playing a much smaller role than he used to—his 8.7 field goal attempts per game are the lowest since the 2014-15 season—but he seems okay with it as long as it helps the team win.
Not everyone is wired like that. Particularly with Kyle Kuzma, who seems to be the Kings’ primary trade target right now, the buy-in to be a role player rather than a star has been questioned.
With Barnes, the question is how long he will be able to keep up his impactful play and that can be frustrating sometimes. Moving him just to make a trade would not be the right decision, though, and considering the lack of other options it might not be the worst thing if Barnes stayed in Sacramento for the rest of the season.
Right now, it seems some smaller moves to reshape the supporting cast/bench might be more helpful than some big swing.