Harrison Barnes is competing in his first Olympics, but he had plenty of offseason excitement before the Summer Games started, writes Joe Rexrode of The Des Moines Register. After being a key part of a Warriors team that set a league record with 73 wins in a season, Barnes found himself cut free when Golden State needed his cap room to sign Kevin Durant. Barnes wound up inking a four-year $94MM deal with the Mavericks, who plan to make him one of the focal points of their offense. “I think Harrison wants an opportunity to go to a team and be the guy,” said fellow Team USA member and former Warriors teammate Draymond Green, “and he has that opportunity, which I’m not mad at him about. He already has a championship, and that’s what he’ll be remembered as. He’s a champion, and no one can ever take that away.”
There’s more from the Western Conference:
- The Mavericks didn’t try to stop newly acquired center Andrew Bogut from playing in the Olympics, according to Kareem Copeland of The Associated Press. Bogut, who came to Dallas in a trade last month, is still recovering from a hyperextended knee he suffered in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. At age 31, Bogut believes this is his last shot at the Olympics and he feared the Mavericks might ask him to sit out and rest the knee, but he said the team approved as long as he was healthy. “I was like, I don’t want it to end that way where I’m just sitting at home with ice on my knee if I can give it a crack,” Bogut said after leading Australia past France today. “I didn’t want it taken away that easily. I said I’ll give it a crack up until this day. If it wasn’t right yesterday, I’d put my hand up and I’m on a flight back home.”
- The Clippers became hard-capped over the summer, but were able to rebuild their bench by adding several veterans on team-friendly contracts, writes Bobby Marks of The Vertical. In his offseason review, Marks notes that Marreese Speights, Raymond Felton, Alan Anderson and Brandon Bass all signed with L.A. for the minimum, allowing the Clippers to add depth at an affordable price. The team is currently $1.4MM above the luxury tax with 15 guaranteed contracts and will face a repeater tax if doesn’t drop below the threshold by the season’s end.