NBA Free Agency, Sacramento Kings

Kings taking huge risk with Harrison Barnes on 4-year deal

The Sacramento Kings are reportedly ready to offer Harrison Barnes a 4-year, $88 million deal to keep his talents in California’s capital.

The Sacramento Kings are ready to overpay for keeping Harrison Barnes in California’s capital.

According to a report from NBC Sports, the Kings are ready to offer Barnes a four-year deal worth $88 million.

Is it crazy to give Barnes $88 million? Barnes is a solid player who puts up decent numbers. He isn’t a player you can build a team around, but he’s good for 15-to-17 points a night, is a decent three-point shooter, and can play both forward spots.

Back to the above question. It’s not crazy, but it’s a gigantic risk. Sacramento is building a nice, young team with De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley. Tying up $88 million over four years with Barnes is going to hamstring the cap significantly during their rookie contracts. Furthermore, the Kings now have to give Barnes serious minutes to justify the deal, even if he begins to decline sharply.

If you want to argue it’s an understandable pact, here’s the angle: The Kings aren’t a free-agent destination anyway. Name the last big free agent to come to Sacramento. I’ll wait. Nothing against Sacramento, but playing there is like having the joy of paying California’s high taxes and not getting any of the benefits of what makes California special.

Barnes is the best small forward the Kings have had in a while. He’s not worth $22 million annually, but he’s also good enough to eat up minutes without being a proverbial black hole.

Alongside Buddy Hield, Fox and Bagley, Barnes is a solid option. If the salary cap continues to rise over the duration of the contract, it will only continue to look ore palatable. Still, the risk is real, as Barnes will cross the 30-year-old threshold during its run.

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