Extending Harrison Barnes‘ contract should be high among the Warriors’ offseason priorities, writes Marcus Thompson of The Bay Area News Group. Citing multiple sources, Thompson reports that Barnes will be seeking an extension this summer and the Warriors would like to give him one. He will be eligible for an extension from July 1st to October 31st.
The only question is money, as a new deal is likely to net Barnes $10MM to $12MM annually, Thompson estimates. The columnist contends that Golden State can afford those terms because the extension wouldn’t take effect until 2016/17, when David Lee‘s $15MM salary will no longer be on the books. If the salary cap for 2016/17 is about $90MM and the luxury tax kicks in at around $108MM, as Commissioner Adam Silver estimated Thursday, the Warriors could have their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston signed for about $72MM total. That leaves plenty of room for Barnes and four projected draft picks over the next two years.
If the Warriors don’t extend Barnes, Thompson notes, he will become a restricted free agent next summer and Golden State will have to worry about matching a large offer from elsewhere. He mentions the Hornets, Grizzlies and Clippers as teams that would have different reasons for pursuing Barnes, while the Blazers, Pelicans, Heat and Bulls are all playoff contenders with a need for a player of his type.