Harrison Barnes

Kings Re-Sign Harrison Barnes To Four-Year Deal

JULY 8: The Kings have officially announced their new deal with Barnes, issuing a press release to confirm the signing.

JUNE 30: The Kings will finalize a four-year, $85MM deal with free agent forward Harrison Barnes, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic (Twitter link). The deal will decline annually, accounting for just 14% of the team’s cap during the final season. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirms (via Twitter) that the two sides have agreed to terms.

Barnes, 27, was traded from the Mavericks to the Kings at February’s trade deadline in the third year of the four-year, maximum-salary contract he signed with Dallas back in 2016. For the season, he recorded 16.4 PPG and 4.7 RPG with a .420/.395/.824 shooting line in 77 games (32.9 MPG).

Barnes had a player option for the 2019/20 season that would have paid him more than $25MM, but opted to turn it down. Based on his new deal, it’s clear why he went in that direction — his new contract won’t be quite worth $25MM annually, but it will give him substantially more long-term security than his option would have.

When the Kings acquired Barnes from Dallas during the season, reports indicated that the team viewed him as its answer at small forward. However, head coach Dave Joerger ended up frequently using his new acquisition at the four. Presumably, Sacramento’s front office and new head coach Luke Walton are aligned on how to best use Barnes going forward.

Even after reaching deals with Barnes, Trevor Ariza, and Dewayne Dedmon today, Sacramento still projects to have up to about $13MM in cap space, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks. However, the team could only create that room by renouncing Willie Cauley-Stein‘s cap hold.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Kings Plan To Offer Four Years, Nearly $90MM To Harrison Barnes

The Kings are working toward a deal with free agent forward Harrison Barnes that would be worth approximately $88MM over four years, according to Carmichael Dave of The Drive 1140 (via Twitter).

Marc Stein of The New York Times corroborates the report, tweeting that he has heard Sacramento plans to offer Barnes a four-year contract worth nearly $90MM when free agency opens on Sunday.

Barnes, 27, was traded from the Mavericks to the Kings at February’s trade deadline in the third year of the four-year, maximum-salary contract he signed with Dallas back in 2016. For the season, he recorded 16.4 PPG and 4.7 RPG with a .420/.395/.824 shooting line in 77 games (32.9 MPG).

Barnes had a player option for the 2019/20 season that would have paid him more than $25MM, but opted to turn it down. Based on today’s update, it’s clear why he went in that direction — if he and the Kings finalize an agreement in the four-year, $90MM range, it wouldn’t be quite worth $25MM annually, but it would give him substantially more long-term security than his option would have.

When the Kings acquired Barnes from Dallas during the season, reports indicated that the team viewed him as its answer at small forward. However, head coach Dave Joerger ended up frequently using his new acquisition at the four. Presumably, Sacramento’s front office and new head coach Luke Walton are aligned on how to best use Barnes going forward.

Even if they complete a deal with Barnes, the Kings should have significant cap room left over to address other positions, including center. Sacramento’s exact cap-room figure will hinge on what they do with potential restricted free agent Willie Cauley-Stein and non-guaranteed guard Yogi Ferrell, among others. But the club could theoretically get up to $40MM+ in space after signing Barnes.

The Kings have been linked to free agent centers like Al Horford, Brook Lopez, and Nikola Vucevic, as well as veteran point guard Patrick Beverley. They should still have the flexibility to pursue a center and Beverley after locking up Barnes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Western Notes: Lakers, Barnes, Rockets, Belinelli

Two major factors related to the Anthony Davis deal will contribute to how much cap room the Lakers have available in free agency this summer. One is the timing of the trade’s completion, while the other is Davis’ trade bonus.

While we don’t yet have definitive word on when the Lakers and Pelicans will finalize the AD blockbuster, early reports suggest it will likely happen on July 6, which would cut into L.A.’s projected cap space by several million dollars. If Davis chooses not to waive his trade bonus, that would reduce the Lakers’ flexibility by about another $4MM, and ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne views that as the most likely scenario, as she said on The Jump on Monday (video link).

“My understanding is he doesn’t intend to waive that [bonus],” Shelburne said. “He’s due the $4MM and he’s going to keep it.”

Shelburne acknowledges that “things could change” before the deal is officially completed, but if the Lakers finalize the trade on July 6 and Davis gets his $4MM trade bonus, it would leave L.A. with about $23.7MM in cap room, not nearly enough for a maximum-salary contract.

Let’s round up a few more notes and updates from around the Western Conference…

  • While Harrison Barnes will turn down his $25MM+ player option for the 2019/20 season, the Kings are confident they’ll be able to keep Barnes in the mix with a new long-term contract, a source tells James Ham of NBC Sports California.
  • Kelly Iko of the Athletic examines and downplays the rumors of discord between Rockets stars James Harden and Chris Paul. “If it’s the middle of September and issues aren’t resolved, then that would be different, but it’s not,” a team source told Iko. “Chris and James want to win a championship.”
  • After Spurs assistant Ettore Messina accepted a job running Olimpia Milano as their president and head coach, veteran guard Marco Belinelli was asked if he’d consider joining Messina in Italy, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Belinelli didn’t rule out the possibility down the road, but said he’d like to sign at least one more NBA contract after his deal with San Antonio expires in 2020.
  • Tony Jones and Omari Sankofa II of The Athletic dig into whether there’s a match for a Mike Conley trade between the Jazz and Grizzlies.

Kings’ Harrison Barnes To Decline 2019/20 Option

Kings forward Harrison Barnes has decided to turn down his player option for the 2019/20 season, agent Jeff Schwartz tells ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Rather than earning a $25,102,512 salary for next season, per Basketball Insiders, Barnes will reach the open market as an unrestricted free agent.

Barnes’ decision doesn’t necessarily mean that his time in Sacramento is over. The Kings will still hold his Bird rights, so they could offer him up to five years and there are no limitations on the salary they could offer up to the maximum. Wojnarowski hears from sources that the two sides are open to exploring a new deal together.

Still, Barnes will have the opportunity to consider other suitors in free agency this summer, if he so chooses. His decision is somewhat surprising since he’s unlikely to match his $25MM option salary for 2019/20, but he should receive offers that comfortably exceed that total number over multiple years, as his ability to make outside shots and guard multiple positions will appeal to NBA teams.

Barnes, 27, was traded from the Mavericks to the Kings at February’s trade deadline in the third year of the four-year, maximum-salary contract he signed with Dallas back in 2016. For the season, he recorded 16.4 PPG and 4.7 RPG with a .420/.395/.824 shooting line in 77 games (32.9 MPG).

As I noted when I previewed the Kings’ cap situation this spring, the team can create up to about $62.6MM in cap room with Barnes off its books for 2019/20. However, Sacramento hasn’t typically been a popular destination for top free agents, and the Kings acquired Barnes in the hopes that he’d be their answer at small forward.

It could be in both sides’ best interests to work out a new agreement once free agency begins, but we’ll have to wait to see how strong that mutual interest is. If Barnes doesn’t return to Sacramento, the club will have plenty of flexibility to pursue his replacement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Team USA Announces 20-Player Camp Roster For World Cup

USA Basketball has officially announced the group of 20 players that will participate in training camp this summer in advance of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The camp will take place from August 5-9, and will be used to select the 12-man roster for this year’s World Cup in China.

The 20-man training camp roster is as follows:

  1. Harrison Barnes (Kings)
  2. Bradley Beal (Wizards)
  3. Anthony Davis (Pelicans)
  4. Andre Drummond (Pistons)
  5. Eric Gordon (Rockets)
  6. James Harden (Rockets)
  7. Tobias Harris (Sixers / FA)
  8. Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  9. Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
  10. Brook Lopez (Bucks / FA)
  11. Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
  12. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  13. CJ McCollum (Trail Blazers)
  14. Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  15. Paul Millsap (Nuggets)
  16. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  17. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  18. Myles Turner (Pacers)
  19. P.J. Tucker (Rockets)
  20. Kemba Walker (Hornets / FA)

“I am excited about getting to training camp in August and working with all of the players that have been selected to attend the USA National Team training camp in Las Vegas,” Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich said in a statement. “We’ve got an excellent cross-section of veteran USA Basketball and NBA players, as well as some exciting younger players who possess amazing versatility.

“I’m appreciative of commitment that our National Team players continue to make, and the eagerness of the new players to become involved,” Popovich continued. “Selecting a 12-man team will be extremely difficult.”

It will be an eventful summer for many of the players on the 20-man Team USA training camp roster. Besides Harris, Lopez, and Walker, who are all headed for unrestricted free agency and could be on new teams by August, players like Barnes, Middleton, and Millsap could reach the open market if their player or team options are declined. Others – including Davis, Gordon, Kuzma, Tatum, and Tucker – have been mentioned in trade rumors.

Kuzma and Mitchell are the only players on the roster who haven’t played internationally for Team USA in the past. Five player on the roster (Barnes, Davis, Harden, Love, and Lowry) have won gold medals for USA Basketball at the 2012 or 2016 Olympics, while two others (Drummond and Gordon) have taken home gold at previous World Cups.

Previous reports indicated that Zion Williamson, John Collins, and Marvin Bagley are expected to be among the players named to a 10-man select team that will scrimmage with Team USA’s 20-man roster at the training camp in August.

Kings Notes: Cauley-Stein, Workouts, Team USA

The Kings are known to be looking for a starting center when free agency begins on June 30, but does that mean that it’s time for Sacramento and former No. 6 overall pick Willie Cauley-Stein to part ways?

Jason Jones of The Athletic opines that even though the Kings have the ability to make Cauley-Stein a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer of just under $6.3MM, it might be best after four seasons for both sides to see what else is out there, especially if the Kings can pick up someone like Nikola Vucevic.

The 25-year-old big man had some bright spots during the 2018/19 campaign, including a hot start that helped make the Kings one of the NBA’s surprise teams to start the season. But, the Kings still feel that Cauley-Stein is an average to below-average rebounder for a big man, and his blocks per game this past season were the lowest of his career.

Perhaps more importantly, the Kings really like what they already have from young, cheaper big men like Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles, and questions still remain, fairly or not, about Cauley-Stein’s desire and focus, which the Kings aren’t sure will now suddenly change after four seasons in the NBA.

There’s more out of Sacramento this weekend:

  • The Kings brought in six prospects for workouts on Thursday, per the team’s website. The players are: guard Jordan Bone (Tennessee), guard Terence Davis (Mississippi), swingman Brian Bowen (Australia), forward Zylan Cheatham (Arizona State), forward Trey Mourning (Georgetown), and big man Chris Silva (South Carolina).
  • Six more more NBA hopefuls will work out for the Kings on Monday, per a report on the team’s website. The prospects are: guard Kyle Guy (Virginia), guard B.J. Taylor (UCF), guard John Konchar (IPFW), guard Jaren Lewis (Abilene Christian), swingman Jakeenan Gant (UL Lafayette), and forward Nick Mayo (Eastern Kentucky).
  • As we relayed earlier this week, two Kings’ players will be participating in USA Basketball this summer. Harrison Barnes will be at USA Basketball’s August training camp ahead of the FIBA World Cup in China this fall, while the aforementioned Bagley will be part of the 10-man select team that will scrimmage against the 18-man FIBA World Cup roster.

And-Ones: Draft/FA, Martin, Barnes, Lithuania

Per Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston, the Celtics front office, long a staunch supporter of flipping the order of the NBA draft and free agency, once again spoke about the idea of having free agency occur before the draft after a pre-draft workout earlier this week.

“I have been a big proponent of switching the draft and free agency,” said director of player personnel Austin Ainge. “I think that most teams build from veteran players first… you more likely are fitting in draft picks in and around a veteran core group. So I think the calendar should follow our decision-making tree. So I think it should be switched.”

The NBA has been open-minded to changes, having recently modified the beginning of free agency to 6pm on June 30 as opposed to midnight on July 1. It remains to be seen whether the league will be as open to changing the order of the draft and free agency.

There are more odds and ends to report from around the basketball world this evening:

  • Kenyon Martin Jr., the son of former NBA player Kenyon Martin, is bypassing college basketball at Vanderbilt to pursue a professional career, reports Evan Daniels of 247Sports. He joins RJ Hampton as the second high-profile high school prospect to turn down a college career, although Hampton was a much more ballyhooed recruit than Martin.
  • According to a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPNKings forward Harrison Barnes will participate in USA Basketball’s August training camp ahead of the FIBA World Cup in China this fall.
  • Spurs big man Donatas Motiejunas was not named to Lithuania’s preliminary roster for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Carchia passes along the full squad, which features Domantas Sabonis and Jonas Valanciunas.

Pacific Notes: Barnes, Suns, Rajakovic, Kings

Harrison Barnes can hit the open market if he turns down his $25.1MM player option and the Kings would like to have him on the roster next season one way or another. If Barnes stays with Sacramento, it could be an indicator that the organization is on the upswing after years of perceived dysfunction, Jason Jones of The Athletic writes.

Kings’ management envisioned Barnes playing the small forward position when they traded for him at last season’s deadline. Dave Joerger had different plans, playing Barnes heavy minutes at the four spot next to Bogdan Bogdanovic at the three. Barnes at power forward also took time away from Marvin Bagley and made it more difficult for the rookie to rise to the starting lineup. Joerger has since been fired.

The Kings are hoping that their switch to Luke Walton as well as a renewed alignment between the coaching staff and front office will be viewed favorably around the league, particularly with agents. Here’s more from around the Kings and the Pacific Division:

Southeast Notes: Portis, Walker, Briscoe, Vucevic

The Wizards and Bobby Portis will decide this summer if they want their relationship to be long-term, writes Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. Acquired from the Bulls at the trade deadline, the 24-year-old power forward will be a restricted free agent in July. Portis is posting career highs with 15.3 PPG and 8.9 RPG in his nine games with Washington and is enjoying his new surroundings.

“Everything is pretty good, man. I like being a Wizard. I love being here,” he said. “I think this is a good fit for me through and through.”

However, Portis’ return next season isn’t a sure thing. Thomas Bryant will also be a restricted free agent, and Hughes doesn’t expect the front office to invest heavily in both. Washington will also have decisions to make on free agents Trevor Ariza, Wesley Johnson and Jeff Green, who will all be unrestricted.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Even if the Hornets can re-sign star guard Kemba Walker, there’s no guarantee they can ever surround him with enough talent to become a contender, observes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. GM Mitch Kupchak made inquiries about Bradley Beal, Marc Gasol and Harrison Barnes prior to the trade deadline, but wasn’t able to acquire any of them. Bonnell notes that if Charlotte commits about $200MM to Walker over the next five years, it will become tougher than ever for the team to add a second star.
  • Isaiah Briscoe‘s journey to the NBA took a detour through Estonia, but that experience has given him a toughness that benefits the Magic, writes John Denton of NBA.com. Briscoe was passed over in the 2017 draft and had to spend a year in Europe before receiving an NBA opportunity. “Isaiah is a tough-minded kid, undrafted and went overseas to get to the league, so he has a chip on his shoulder, and he has that mindset,’’ said teammate D.J. Augustin. “He’s a big, physical body for a point guard and he uses it out there well.’’
  • Magic center Nikola Vucevic hasn’t decided if World Cup basketball will be part of his summer plans, he said in an interview with TrendBasket (translated by Sportando). Vucevic indicated that Orlando’s postseason fate could determine whether he suits up for Montenegro. “I have not decided yet,” he said. “First we have to finish the season where we are trying to make the playoffs. We are focused on making the playoffs now. I will be free agent when the season ends. I am going to be busy for a while. I hope my situation will be clearer in July.”

Harrison Barnes: “Bizarre Things Happen”

Harrison Barnes, one of the few NBA players to get traded during a game, talked about the experience and life with the Kings during an interview with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.

The image of Barnes remaining on the bench and cheering for his ex-Mavericks teammates after learning about the deal is one of the enduring pictures of this year’s frenzied trade deadline. The seventh-year forward lets fans in on the whirlwind experience that happened after he left the arena.

“I went home that night. I was talking to my wife. Phone is blowing up. All of a sudden, I hear from my agent. Boom. You’re on a flight the next morning at 9 a.m.,” Barnes said. “You land. Boom. You do physicals. Friday morning I’m in the shootaround with the Sacramento Kings. That night, I’m playing the game. I’m playing at the end of the game and I don’t know the plays. I’m just playing hard. I’m running around. That’s just how quick things can change in 48 hours. One night I’m in Dallas and then the next night I’m in a Sacramento Kings uniform.”

Barnes addresses several other topics during the discussion, including:

  • Being traded into a playoff race: “The biggest takeaway from it is that things happen in this league. Bizarre things happen. The biggest thing that I’m excited about now is that I’m playing for a team that has a chance to make the postseason. The last couple years it’s been difficult not being a part of the postseason. What’s exciting now is that every game there is so much on the line to make the postseason. That’s where my energy is right now.”
  • What the playoffs would mean for the Kings, who are a game out of eighth place entering tonight: “For the young guys that can see their careers catapulted, just experiencing what that postseason would be like. What it means to really get to that next level and to be an opportunity. The second thing is when an organization like this has been through a lot of turmoil, who hasn’t been to the playoffs since ’06, that would mean a lot, just for all of the sacrifices that the organization and team has made to get to where it is, the coaches. Everyone’s put in the work.”
  • His memories from two and a half years with the Mavericks: “Dallas was a chance to learn under a championship pedigree. Learning underneath Rick Carlisle, to be around Dirk [Nowitzki] and to learn from him, to have a chance to have a bigger role and to see what I can do on the court to produce at a high level, I’m definitely appreciative of the opportunity that I had there.”