3 Offseason moves the Sacramento Kings must make to win the West

Domantas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Domantas Sabonis and De'Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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NBA Trades, Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings
Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kings(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

3. Bring back Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes isn’t the best player on the Kings and his role will probably dwindle for any franchise in the coming years. But as the veteran leader of a young rotation, his presence is vital for Sacramento.

The 30-year-old was critical to the team’s regular season success. He averaged 15.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He was a robust shooter, too, hitting 47.3 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from three, and 84.7 percent from the free throw line.

Barnes didn’t play as well during the playoffs against his former team. He received plenty of minutes in the first five games but didn’t make much of an impact outside of Game 2 when he scored 17 points. He also struggled immensely from three-point range and memorably missed a game-winner in Game 4.

The coach responded accordingly. In the final two games, Barnes’ combined minute total was less than any of the individual five games that preceded them. He scored a measly 10 points combined in Game 6 and Game 7.

Basing a decision on Barnes’ future based on what happened during this past postseason would be a mistake. It could portend what a future looks like without relying as much on Barnes, but this team isn’t ready to give him away completely.

Whether or not Barnes returns will likely depend on the factor that rules all of the free agency: money. He’s coming off a four-year, $85 million deal and can’t expect that kind of payday after reaching his 30s. But will he be willing to sign a team-friendly deal and remain loyal to the franchise that chose not to trade him at multiple points throughout his time there?

Barnes is the biggest piece of the free agency puzzle in Sacramento. Not Trey Lyles. Not Terence Davis. Barnes. The franchise should be willing to show him that in free agency and have the two sides meet somewhere in the middle.