It’s not a secret that the surprising Sacramento Kings are looking to upgrade their roster ahead of February’s NBA trade deadline. The team is specifically in the market for wings and and perimeter players.
In talking about the situation in California’s capital city during his recent podcast, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst mentioned a rather interesting possibility — Dallas Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes.
“To me, I just know the Kings would love to have Barnes, Windhorst noted. “Whether or not that can work out, I don’t know.”
The question here is whether Sacramento can entice the Mavericks into making a move of this ilk. There’s a lot of layers to it.
Harrison Barnes’ contract: Barnes signed a four-year, $94.3 million deal with Dallas back in 2016.
- Earning $24.1 million this season, Sacramento would be on the hook for $25.1 million in the final year of Barnes’ contract in 2019-20. The contract wouldn’t necessarily hamper a trade.
- Whether Barnes’ production matches up with said contract remains to be seen. He’s averaging 18.1 points on 41 percent shooting on the season.
Kings have the assets: Sacramento boasts veteran players on expirings that could make a deal work.
- Common logic seems to suggest that the Kings could move the likes of Zach Randolph, Kosta Koufos and Iman Shumpert. All three are on expiring deals with a combined cap hit of $31-plus million.
- Given that the Kings don’t have their first-round pick in 2019, these expiring contracts could act as a boon heading into February’s trade deadline.
- Willie Cauley-Stein could be the real wildcard here. He’s set to become a restricted free agent. The former lottery pick is just 25 years old and could be the centerpiece in a trade.
It really is a solid fit: Barnes could slide in at the three and start immediately.
- Youngster Justin Jackson has played a lot better in recent weeks. But enabling him to come off the bench would give the Kings a much deeper rotation.
- Given that Sacramento isn’t worried about draft positioning, this move is as much about 2019-20 as it is this season.
- Cauley-Stein and a combination of Randolph, Koufos and Shumpert would be a small price to pay. And from the Mavs’ perspective, those expiring contracts are a big deal if they want to pair Luka Doncic up with a star in free agency.