OAKLAND — While Harrison Barnes remains a restricted free agent, and most of the speculation leading to an eventual departure out of Oakland, there is still a chance that the Warriors could value him up to a particular dollar amount. Some team will most likely reach and pay him a massive contract.
Barnes’ agent continues to shop him around the league to teams like the Dallas Mavericks and Philadelphia 76ers among others. The Warriors have gotten plenty of production from Barnes through the course of his career and he has even hit game winners in crucial moments. With that said, he to a certain degree went missing in action through most of the playoffs this year. It’s tough to say whey or pinpoint a specific reason why Barnes flashes signs of being a great NBA player. It could be that he is playing behind three all stars in Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and the reigning back to back MVP of the entire league, Stephen Curry… or it could be a confidence thing; and it’s possible that it’s even a combination of all of the above.
Should Barnes get a fresh start on a team with not many stars and having to share the limelight, it is quite conceivable that his confidence elevates and he becomes an all star like his current teammates and builds his own reputation climbing out of the shadows. In fact, it’s highly likely. He will be able to create more and take more shots and develop on the defensive side of the ball where he’s already been above average.
Should the Warriors decide to match what other teams are offering Barnes, it will be because they know his true worth even though it doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet. The likelihood that the Warriors will be able to match is to a degree improbable though. We are seeing players like Michael Conley receiving the richest contract in NBA history [5-years, $153-million dollars] due to the salary cap increase. Conley is not Michael Jordan or Shaquille O’Neal and most would agree not even worth half of the contract that he got but the facts are that he did indeed get it. This opens the door for players like Harrison Barnes, who has zero allstar appearances to get something similar from another team. If he does, there is little to no chance at all that the Dubs put the same offer on the table; especially not considering that they have players like Andre Igoudala that are perfectly capable of starting for them.
If Barnes decides that money isn’t everything, despite the mentality that as an NBA player your second contract should always be about the money, it means that he values championships over money. It means that he is about the game more than filling his pockets. There is a certain amount of weighing and balancing that will definitely go in to his decision. But in my opinion, I believe he follows the money and goes to a team where he can shine more than he currently is with the Warriors.
In the 2015-2016 Season, Barnes averaged 11.7 PPG, 4.9 TRB, 0.7 STL, 1.8 AST, and shot .383 from behind the arch. It was his best season as a pro to date.
That taken in to consideration, he disappeared when push came to shove. He would appear and disappear like a magician; and not in a good way. He was in essence, consistently inconsistent.