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Harrison Barnes Changes Agents

FRIDAY, 3:03pm: Barnes has hired Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Schwartz, who recently picked up LaMarcus Aldridge and Joe Johnson as new clients, also represents Warriors Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa.

THURSDAY, 9:47am: Harrison Barnes has parted ways with agent Jeff Wechsler of 24/7 Sports Management, reports Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). The rookie scale extension deadline of November 2nd looms just a month and a half away, and Golden State has been reportedly been seeking a deal with him and fellow extension-eligible Festus Ezeli.

Wechsler negotiated a five-year max extension for Kyrie Irving, his only other current NBA client, in July 2014. Barnes has reportedly shared interest with the Warriors in reaching a deal on an extension of his own, though it would be difficult for him to score the max, since he averaged just 10.1 points per game last season. Grantland’s Zach Lowe recently estimated that Barnes would end up with a deal between the four years and $58MM that DeMarre Carroll landed from the Raptors this summer and the projected $20.4MM max for players with Barnes’ level of experience. Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group suggested salaries of $14MM a year, though he and TNT’s David Aldridge figured that Wechsler would start negotiations with an asking price of at least $15MM annually. I reasoned that salaries of $16-18MM would make sense for both sides when I looked in-depth at the extension candidacy of the former seventh overall pick.

New coach Steve Kerr reinserted Barnes into the starting lineup last season, a move that helped spark a 16-win improvement and a run to the franchise’s first NBA title in 40 years. The Warriors have reached extensions with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut in recent years, so precedent exists for them to do the same with Barnes. The timing of his change of representation is odd, though it’s unclear what the impetus for the decision is. It’s also not immediately clear whom Barnes will hire to represent him going forward. He nonetheless made it clear in July that he envisions staying with the Warriors for the long haul, as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group reported at the time.

“I mean, we just won a championship,” Barnes said. “Of course I’d love to keep this group together for many years to come, you know what I’m saying? So that’s obvious.”

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