The Warriors are set to renounce restricted free agent forward Harrison Barnes, now that Kevin Durant is headed to the Bay Area, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link). Withdrawing their qualifying offer to Barnes would remove his $9,683,495 cap hold from the Warriors’ books, and would make Barnes an unrestricted free agent. We heard earlier today that Golden State will do the same for Festus Ezeli, making him a UFA as well.
[RELATED: Kevin Durant to sign with Warriors]
The Mavericks had been expected to put a four-year, maximum-salary offer sheet for Barnes when the July moratorium comes to an end, and Dallas remains “full steam ahead” on its plans to offer Barnes that contract, according to Stein. Now that he won’t be a restricted free agent, Barnes will be free to sign with the Mavs outright, rather than waiting to see if Golden State would match an offer sheet.
There hasn’t been confirmation yet that Barnes has formally agreed to terms with the Mavericks, so it’s possible that another team – perhaps one that missed out on Durant – that appeals more to Barnes could swoop in to match Dallas’ offer. But it looks for now as if the former seventh overall pick will probably sign with the Mavs later this week.
The Mavericks have also emerged as a strong potential trade destination for Andrew Bogut, per Stein (Twitter links). Golden State will almost certainly have to move Bogut to accommodate Durant’s new deal, and the team would like to send the veteran center to a destination he likes, according to Stein, who adds that Barnes and Bogut are good friends.
One NBA team executive tells Sam Amico of Amico Hoops (Twitter link) that his club previously had interest in Bogut, but is no longer interested in making a trade. “I’m not helping [the Warriors],” the exec said. While that’s a noble stance, there figures to be at least one team willing to acquire Bogut — the trade cost figures to be cheap, and Bogut’s salary isn’t exorbitant compared to what some free agent centers will sign for this week.