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Pacific Notes: Bryant, Lee, Barnes

One of the biggest decisions the Warriors will need to make this summer is whether or not to re-sign Harrison Barnes, who will be eligible to become a restricted free agent at season’s end. Teammate Andrew Bogut believes the combo forward has done more than enough to command a near-maximum salary this summer, Rusty Simmons of The San Francisco Chronicle relays.

We’re winning. A lot of guys are sacrificing numbers, minutes and roles on this team. That’s why we’re a great team,” Bogut told reporters. “Harrison has had great games, and he’s had bad games — just like everybody else on this roster. I don’t anticipate it affecting his contract situation and all of that. Someone is probably going to give him the max. Let’s be honest. Someone is going to give him close to the max. There’s always a small-market team that would love someone like Harrison as their No. 1 or No. 2 option. I don’t think it’s going to [have] any bearing on his financial future. I think people know that everyone on this team is more valuable than their contract says — just on the basis of what they’ve given up.” Barnes is averaging 11.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.4 minutes per contest on the campaign.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • David Lee would still be with the Warriors if the team hadn’t won the championship last year, he tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com“If we lose the Finals, then I find a way to try to stick around there,” Lee said. “But I feel like, we went from a 23-win team to a championship team in five years. It couldn’t have been a better ending, contributing to helping my team win a championship. It was a fitting ending for both parties. I wanted to play minutes going into a contract year, and there was really no way they could keep me. I think it worked out great for both sides.”
  • Lakers coach Byron Scott was unhappy with the defensive effort of his younger players against Rodney Hood, who scored 30 points against Los Angeles on Monday night, Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake City Tribune relays (via Twitter). The coach pointed to Kobe Bryant‘s willingness to take the assignment when his other players didn’t rise to the challenge, Falk adds. “Kobe wanted to take on the challenge,” Scott told reporters. “It’s a [expletive] shame our oldest player has to take the challenge. It says a lot about him, obviously. It’s what he has done all his life, but nobody else wanted to step up and take that challenge and that’s a shame that the oldest guy our team that is leaving this league in eight games was the one that had to kind of shut him down.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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