The Warriors will stick to their promise to keep the team together, even if that means matching an offer in excess of $20MM per year for Harrison Barnes, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. Barnes will be a restricted free agent this summer after turning down a four-year, $64MM offer from Golden State last year. He averaged 11.7 points in 66 games this season and has become an important cog in a team that is one victory away from its second straight championship. Barnes is eligible to receive an offer starting at $20MM per year and could get a max offer in the neighborhood of $23MM. A source in the Warriors organization told Deveney that owner Joe Lacob has not wavered from his promise to hold onto the team’s key players. However, Deveney tweets that if Barnes decides he wants to go somewhere else to have a larger role, the Warriors will try to accommodate him with a sign-and-trade.
There’s more news from the Pacific Division:
- Iowas State combo forward Georges Niang and Manhattan power forward Jermaine Lawrence have workouts scheduled today for the Warriors, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Golden State’s only pick in this year’s draft is at No. 30.
- California swingman Jaylen Brown addressed questions about his shooting after a workout with the Lakers Friday, writes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. “I think the biggest knock on me is if I can shoot the ball,” Brown said. “And I’ve been shooting the ball pretty well in these workouts. … And to shoot it the way I do now, it’s a significant growth.” Brown has been projected as a top 10 pick, but teams are concerned that he shot just 43.1% from the field and 29.4% from 3-point range last season. Kentucky big man Skal Labissiere also worked out for the Lakers Friday and projects himself as a power forward in the NBA. “I think I’ll be a four because of my versatility, both on offense and defense,” Labissiere said. “I can shoot the basketball, score inside, run the floor really well, block shots, guard small defenders.”
- The Lakers have a June 18th workout scheduled with Oklahoma shooting guard Buddy Hield, Turner writes in the same piece. L.A. held a private session with Hield two weeks ago.
- After four years at North Carolina, Brice Johnson doesn’t think his age will be an issue in the draft, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Johnson, who is about to turn 22, worked out for Phoenix this week and is a candidate for the Suns’ No. 13 pick. “Nowadays, everybody just wants to see me shoot the ball,” Johnson said. “They just want to know if I can shoot. They know I’m very athletic. I can dunk the ball very well. I think about 85 percent of my shots were dunks this year.”