One bigger name player who was mentioned a lot in NBA trade rumors near this season’s trade deadline was Harrison Barnes, but the Kings wound up holding onto the veteran wing. Barnes was not traded and now, will be a hot topic entering the offseason.
Harrison Barnes has two years on his contract after this season and while he is still owed $38.6M through the 2022-23 season, his contract does decline in value each year. He is set to make $20.3M next season and then $18.4M the following year, making his contract definitely affordable for teams on the cusp of making the playoffs or looking for that final piece to push them into championship consideration.
While he is oftentimes overlooked, Barnes is a really solid wing in the NBA and has been consistently good for Sacramento all season long. In 56 games with the Kings, the veteran wing has averaged 15.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and has shot 49.4% from the floor and 37.9% from three-point range.
He is not the type of player that is going to lead a team to a championship, but Harrison Barnes is a very steady option on the wing that you know what you are going to get from him. For this reason, is why a handful of teams could look to pursue Barnes in the offseason and why he could definitely make an impact for a team looking to make the playoffs next year.
So which teams could look to go after Harrison Barnes in the offseason? Let’s take a look at three teams who could look to pull off a trade for the veteran wing this summer.
After being rumored to make a big move at the trade deadline, the Boston Celtics ended up holding onto most of their assets and instead added veteran wing Evan Fournier for some much needed scoring depth in their second-unit. Overall, it does not seem like the Celtics will have enough firepower to make the NBA Finals with the 76ers, Bucks and Nets standing in their way in the Eastern Conference, so they could look to make more moves in the offseason to add talent to their roster.
The Celtics are set to come up short of their ultimate goal of winning a championship once again, which is why this offseason could result in them making plenty of big moves. One of which could involve them pursuing veteran wing Harrison Barnes.
Barnes ended up being a huge trade target for the Boston Celtics at the trade deadline this year and Boston had reached out to the Kings numerous times about potentially trading him, but ultimately, trade talks settled down and nothing ever came of their discussions around Barnes.
While the Celtics also have a cap space problem, adding Barnes to their core of Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart could finally give the Celtics what they need to have their best chance to not only win the Eastern Conference, but potentially make it back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
If Boston can get away with trading a guy like Tristan Thompson, a young talent and a draft pick for a guy like Harrison Barnes, this would be a major win for the Celtics, especially since they have Robert Williams.
The young center has slowly been taking on a bigger role with the Celtics and could definitely be their starting center moving forward, which is why this trade would make a ton of sense for Boston, but who knows what the Kings asking price would be for Barnes.
They could ultimately want a guy like Marcus Smart and Payton Pritchard in return for the veteran wing, which is why the Celtics may look elsewhere for a reasonable price in the offseason to add more talent to their roster.
With Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, the Wizards definitely have a shot to turn things around, but they need to be willing to spend money in the offseason to add more talent to their roster and they need to get everybody healthy.
Since the All-Star break, Washington has been surprisingly good, as they have won six of their last seven games, but they are still far off from being a threat in the Eastern Conference. There is a small chance that they could make the playoffs through the play-in tournament this season, but if they do make the playoffs, it is hard to imagine that they would take down either the 76ers or Nets.
With that said, the Wizards will be looking to make some moves in the offseason, which is why trading for Harrison Barnes makes sense. Washington’s biggest problem, aside from a lack of overall talent, is the fact that they have no consistency on the wing.
Deni Avdija was drafted 9th overall by this Wizards team with the hope that he could grow into a reliable, young talent, but it will take a few years for him to develop in full. Having a guy like Harrison Barnes to learn from could not only help Avdija as a young player, but adding Barnes gives the Wizards that third, high-level talent that they need to be successful.
At the end of the day, the Washington Wizards just need to make moves to add reliable players around their superstar duo in the backcourt, which is why this move for Harrison Barnes would make sense.
Giving up a draft pick and a guy like Davis Bertans definitely makes sense for the Wizards and would still give them a little bit of cap space to potentially add another reliable player at a reasonable price in NBA free agency.
Not only are the Hornets a young, energetic team, but they have emerged as a potential playoff team in the Eastern Conference this year. Whether they end up as a Top-6 seed in the Easstern Conference or if they have to play in the play-in tournament, the Hornets are going to have a chance to play postseason basketball for the first time since 2016.
Losing rookie LaMelo Ball to a fractured wrist definitely hurts this team, as does Gordon Hayward being out right now with a foot injury, but these injuries have given chances to some of the other Hornets’ young talents to breakout and cement their future with this team.
Guys like Miles Bridges, Jalen McDaniels and Terry Rozier have elevated their play this year and are going to be big pieces of the Hornets’ future success moving forward, but this team still has some holes to fill. They could use another high-level talent on the wing and with an estimated $29M in cap space entering the offseason, Charlotte could definitely make a trade for Harrison Barnes work.
The only question though is what would they have to give up in return? It seems likely that Sacramento would want a first-round pick for Harrison Barnes, but which of the Hornets’ young talents would they have their eyes on?
Charlotte would not want to give up Ball, Bridges or Washington, which is why they could potentially have to part ways with a guy like Jalen McDaniels or their rookie center Vernon Carey Jr.
Regardless of what they would have to give up, adding another veteran player to pair with Gordon Hayward on the wing would definitely help a young team like the Hornets and give them yet another consistent option that they can rely on to make all of the right plays. With a reasonable contract and plenty of cap space, this move for Charlotte could definitely be in their offseason plans.