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.
Vucevic is in line for a huge raise after posting his best NBA season and his first All-Star appearance. The 28-year-old averaged 20.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.1 blocks in 80 games this year. Despite reports that Sacramento might be one of his free agent suitors, Ham states that he doesn’t fit the up-tempo approach that the Kings prefer.
Ham suggests the Kings might opt for a short-term solution, seeking a one- or two-year contract with the Knicks’ DeAndre Jordan or the Hawks’ Dewayne Dedmon. Jordan will turn 31 this summer and Dedmon is almost 30, so neither is viewed as a long-range option.
Sacramento also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of keeping Willie Cauley-Stein, as Ham notes the team is expected to make him a restricted free agent by issuing a qualifying offer before June 30. GM Vlade Divac said the front office still sees potential in the former No. 6 pick, but has been frustrated by his up-and-down performance.
“We would like to keep Willie in terms of his talent potential,” Divac said, “but he still needs to show us the consistency that we are looking for. We are talking.”
- Nevada forward Jordan Caroline worked out for the Lakers on Thursday and the Kings on Friday, Jordan Schultz of ESPN tweets. Former UCF center Tacko Fall will also work out for the Lakers before the draft, Schultz adds in another tweet.
- Guards Jalen Adams (UConn) and Quinndary Weatherspoon (Mississippi State), forwards Shaqquan Aaron (USC) and Markis McDuffie (Wichita State) and center Dylan Osetkowski (Texas) also worked out for the Kings on Friday, according to a team press release.
- The Kings have officially named former Suns head coach Igor Kokoskov, Bob Beyer, Jesse Mermuys and Roy Rana as assistant coaches under Luke Walton, according to a team press release. Bobby Jackson, Jonah Herscu and Will Scott will round out the staff.
The Kings will hire Igor Kokoskov as an assistant coach, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). He’ll serve under Sacramento’s new head coach Luke Walton.
Kokoskov spent last season as the head coach of the Suns. He was fired after just one season where the team went 19-63.
The coach previously spent time as an assistant with the Clippers and Jazz among other teams. He also has extensive experience coaching internationally.
- The Kings hosted six prospects for a workout on Tuesday. Per an official release, the list of players that worked out is guard Marcquise Reed (Clemson), guard Shaq Buchanan (Murray State), guard Bryce Brown (Auburn), guard Frank Howard (Syracuse), forward Juwan Morgan (Indiana), and forward Aric Holman (Mississippi State).
- Tomorrow, the Kings will host six more prospects for their 15th pre-draft workout. Per an official release, the workout participants are guard Rickey McGill (Iona), guard Jeremiah Martin (Memphis), guard Ar’Mond Davis (UC Santa Barbara), forward Jalen McDaniels (San Diego State), forward Simisola Shittu (Vanderbilt), and big man Christ Koumadje (Florida State).
Israeli Yovel Zoosman, a 6’6” small forward, will keep his name in the draft, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. Zoosman plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv, which just advanced to the Israeli league playoff finals. Zoosman is ranked No. 53 on Givony’s Top 100 prospects list.
We have more draft decisions and workouts:
- German point guard Josh Obiesie will stay in the draft, according to another Givony tweet. Givony has Obiesie ranked No. 64 overall and No. 10 among point guard prospects.
- Forward Paul Eboua, Cameroon native, has withdrawn his name from the draft, according to Givony (Twitter link). He joins 11 other international players — Gytis Masiulis, Abdoulaye N’Doye, Digue Diawara, Aleksandr Balcerowski, Aleix Font, Zoran Paunovic, Dalibor Ilic, Louis Olinde, Jonas Matisseck, Tadas Sedekerskis and Vrenz Bleijenbergh — who have also decided to pull out of the draft. Matas Jogela, a Lithuanian forward, and William McDowell-White, an Australian guard, will remain in the draft, according to Givony (Twitter links).
- Mississippi State forward Aric Holman worked out for the Raptors on Monday, according to Ian Begley of SNY TV (Twitter link). He visited the Knicks last week and will work out for the Kings, Lakers and Cavaliers this week, Begley adds.
- First round prospect Tyler Herro (Kentucky) has worked out for the Spurs and will also visit the Pacers and Timberwolves, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Herro is ranked No. 18 overall and No. 4 among shooting guards by Givony.
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:
- Harrison Barnes (Kings)
- Bradley Beal (Wizards)
- Anthony Davis (Pelicans)
- Andre Drummond (Pistons)
- Eric Gordon (Rockets)
- James Harden (Rockets)
- Tobias Harris (Sixers / FA)
- Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
- Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
- Brook Lopez (Bucks / FA)
- Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
- Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
- CJ McCollum (Trail Blazers)
- Khris Middleton (Bucks)
- Paul Millsap (Nuggets)
- Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
- Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
- Myles Turner (Pacers)
- P.J. Tucker (Rockets)
- 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.