The Predicament of Kings Harrison Barnes

Entering the 2022-23 season, Sacramento Kings They have come to a crossroads regarding Harrison Barnes.

Barnes is an excellent fit for a complementary role, alongside franchise cornerstones Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox. Barnes, on the other hand, is entering the final season of his contract – which is set to bring in $18.4 million – and can’t walk free at the end of the season.

Kings are relatively poor assets after Trading Therese Halliburton for Sabonis and trading a Kevin Huerter’s first protected rounderso they can’t afford to lose a good player for nothing.

The 30-year-old Barnes has been a Top 3 in the Kings since arriving from Dallas in March 2019, but unfortunately, that hasn’t changed Sacramento’s fortunes.

Finally, Sacramento looks like a team with a depth of NBA talent that wasn’t there in Barnes’ tenure.

The team added two Multi-faceted shooters in Malik Monk Kevin Huerter. that they Drafted Keegan Murray at No. 4World Health Organization, Based on his performance in the summer leaguewill be an immediate contributor to the NBA.

With the addition of Murray, Barnes will finally have another competent wing-size player on the roster who can make a huge impact on the game.

However, having the Kings on the wing makes me believe they can only move Barnes if they get a player of the same size back in return. Both Barnes and Murray lean more toward being junior strikers than junior strikers, but nonetheless, they would be the best attacking duo the Kings have had in years.

One question about Barnes this season and going forward is his defence, especially if he has been tasked with guarding young attackers.

It isn’t much talked about, but Barnes has fallen significantly defensively over the past few seasons. You can’t pin the entirety of Sacramento’s defensive struggles on Barnes, but it didn’t help that end.

Among the eligible players, Barnes had the fifth worst defensive rating in the NBA this past season. While individual defensive measures remain imperfect, an eye test with Barnes verifies this decrease in defense.

He beats dribbling frequently and seems to have lost some athleticism, which was one of his best traits earlier in his career. It’s hard to consider Barnes to be a junior striker at this point in his career.

Barnes remains generally positive on the ground for what he can do offensively, but defensive questions must be raised.

During the last two NBA trading deadlines, there seemed to be a strong chance that Barnes would move to a contender. Not so.

It is likely that the King’s general manager, Monty McNair, will recognize the weakness of the roster and how putting up Barnes would exacerbate that. If Sacramento disappoints again, you’d think they’d trade Barnes last in the season, but it’s possible that an expired Barnes won’t have the same value he’s had in recent years.

The point is, the team doesn’t have a lot of moves left on the chess board that they can make before the season. Barnes is one of the few that still has it.

Do the Kings want to be the team that pays Barnes in his 30s? Also, would Barnes really want to spend the last few seasons of his prime in Sacramento?

There is no easy answer regarding Barnes. If there was some perfect trade where Sacramento could replace Barnes with the release of 25-year-old Barnes, it would have already happened.

The most likely scenario is Barnes returning to the Kings jersey, given his value to the upcoming season and how much the organization places on what happens.