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Forward Harrison Barnes is reportedly staying put.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the North Carolina product will re-sign with the Sacramento Kings on a four-year, $85 million contract Sunday. Per Amick, the “deal declines annually, accounting for just 14% of the cap in the fourth year.”
This comes after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on July 18 that Barnes chose free agency when he declined the 2019-20 player option on his Kings contract that would have paid him $25.1 million. The two sides were “open to exploring a new deal together this summer,” and that came to fruition with this move.
There were arguments to be made for both declining and accepting the option.
On the one hand, $25.1 million for a season is a significant amount of money for someone who has largely been a role player for much of his career. The Golden State Warriors selected him with the No. 7 overall pick of the 2012 draft, and he never averaged more than 11.7 points per night on the team.
He was often relegated to playing in the space created by Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and didn’t look like someone who could carry an offense as one of the go-to options on a different roster.
On the other hand, Wojnarowski pointed out there figured to be 10 teams with more than $20 million in salary-cap space when Barnes declined his option. What’s more, keeping the 27-year-old was clearly a priority for the Kings—validated by this new deal—even though he could have been an enticing secondary prize for those who missed out on the marquee names of free agency.
Barnes also became more of a scorer with the Dallas Mavericks after his time in Golden State, averaging 19.2 points per game in 2016-17 and 18.9 points in 2017-18.
The scoring fell off some in 28 games with the Kings when he posted 14.3 points and 5.5 rebounds, but he shot a blistering 40.8 percent from three-point range as a more efficient option who played well off the young core of Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III.
The 40.8 percent mark would have been a career high if stretched out over an entire season, which is surely encouraging for Sacramento as it looks to build off last season’s 39-43 finish.
If he can continue to shoot like that and mirrors the offensive force he was on the Mavericks, Barnes can help spearhead Sacramento’s first playoff run since the 2005-06 campaign.