Philly Prepared To Make A Run At Barnes – June 28
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Philadelphia 76ers “plan to be serious suitors” for Barnes when free agency kicks off.
Related: Barnes added to Olympic team
Although the Sixers are expected to make a vehement run at Barnes, Golden State will match any offer given to the UNC product. The Warriors see Barnes as a “top priority in the event they can’t lure [Kevin] Durant away from the [Oklahoma City] Thunder,” according to Stein. Majority owner Joe Lacob has also expressed that would much rather pay to “keep a winning team together,” according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
Over the past two seasons, Barnes had been the fourth option on offense behind Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. His decision to leave could give the idea that he wants a more involved role in a different offense, even if that sacrifices playing on a perennial contender. On a team that’s more talent starved, Barnes could thrive as a second option, or possibly the first option on a bad team. He’s coming off one of his best seasons as a pro and averaged 11.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and shot 38 percent from three last season.
However, he’s also coming off one of the worst playoff disappearing acts in recent memory. I’d be remiss to say that Barnes didn’t contribute in some way to the Warriors epic collapse in the Finals, because when he’s hitting shots, Golden State is nearly unbeatable — his help was much needed in their 73 wins. Up until Game 5 of the Finals, Barnes was putting up almost ten points per contest on 37.7 percent from three, which is where he gets a decent amount of looks.
Once the final three games took place, Barnes’ confidence was non-existent, and the former lottery pick shot just 5/32 over those last three games.