Sixers Have Serious Interest In Harrison Barnes

The Sixers intend to be “serious suitors” for Harrison Barnes when free agency opens later this week, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein (via Twitter). While Barnes has yet to formally receive a qualifying offer from the Warriors, that QO is likely imminent, and will make him a restricted free agent.

Barnes, 24, has been a solid rotational piece for the Warriors since being selected seventh overall in the 2012 draft, shooting 37.6% on three-pointers and averaging double-digits in points over the course of his four-year career. However, he was inconsistent in the playoffs, no-showing in some key games down the stretch for Golden State. In the NBA Finals, Barnes shot just 35.2% from the floor, including 31.0% from three-point range, and many of those attempts were uncontested.

There has been speculation that Barnes will receive a maximum-salary offer sheet, or something very close to it, in free agency, which would be an awfully steep price to pay for a player who has never averaged more than 11.7 points per game in a season and has struggled in critical postseason moments.

Still, a rival suitor could make the case that Barnes’ evolution as a scorer has been limited in Golden State by the presence of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, arguing that a change of scenery could boost his offensive numbers. The Sixers also have no shortage of cap room. Before taking into account cap holds for first-round picks, Philadelphia has less than $25MM in guaranteed salary on its books for 2016/17. Most of the Sixers’ core pieces won’t get expensive for a few more years, so it may not hurt them to overpay Barnes — the team needs to reach the salary floor somehow.

As for the Warriors, they’ll have the opportunity to match any offer sheet for Barnes, but the club has been vocal about aggressively pursuing upgrades to its roster this offseason. The UNC product will be expendable if the Dubs can land Kevin Durant in free agency, and even if that doesn’t happen, Golden State may choose to go in a different direction rather than matching a huge rival offer for Barnes.

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11 thoughts on “Sixers Have Serious Interest In Harrison Barnes

  1. TheZink

    Reminds me a lot of when the Sixers overpaid for Scott Williams after he rode Jordan’s coat tails for years.

  2. Guest

    For what Barnes does, he’s perfect on a rookie contract. Now that he is entering free agency, I don’t know if he will be worth the money that is coming to him. Warriors better hope he doesn’t sign any deal until either the whole KD situation unfolds, whether he signs with GSW or not, and whether they can get another option like Batum. Once all options are clear, maybe the Warriors look into bringing Barnes back.

  3. Z-A

    For a guy that got completely and utterly exposed in the playoffs, hope they are talking at lower than max. He’s a role player, not a frontliner.

  4. Z.....

    Thought he could have been used better in the playoffs, to get him in better rhythm. They didn’t post him at all, and let cleveland hide kyrie Irving on him at times. I think he is definitely a close to max guy, which makes him a max guy. He is a versatile threat on both ends of the floor. His shooting numbers probably go down a bit on a team with not nearly as good spacing, where he also has a bigger role, but that doesn’t worry me.

    • SeanS

      Used him better? Kerr has been starting him for 2 years to bring up his ego. He had plenty of chances to post up but kept fading away and/or would get stripped going to the basket for a weak finish. His only asset on D is simply being there with length. Just because he can get max doesn’t mean he is worth it. The guy has been gifted an out of the spotlight role to thrive and failed every time when it mattered most. Just watch his weak ass attempts and box outs, he clearly doesn’t have what it takes.

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