Last season, the Sacramento Kings experienced an 18-game improvement over the previous year and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2006. While first year Head Coach Mike Brown and the team’s two best players De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis deservedly received most of the credit, the Kings’ supporting cast was equally important in helping to turn the franchise around. Chief among the role players who helped right the ship was veteran swing man Harrison Barnes.
As a veteran in his 11th season, Barnes averaged 15.0 points and 4.5 rebounds rebounds per game. He also knocked down his 3-point attempts at a reliable rate of 37.4 percent. Undoubtedly, having an NBA Champion whose made two trips to the Finals in the locker room made Coach Brown’s job a lot easier; if a guy with Barnes’ resume could be coachable why would anyone else bulk at the team concept?
Harrison Barnes wants to continue to be a big part of their success next season.
In recognition of his contributions to last year’s success, the organization rewarded Barnes with a 3-year contract worth roughly $18 million per season on the first day of free agency. While making it out of the Western Conference and reaching the NBA Finals will be no easy task, the Kings can reasonably expect to earn homecourt advantage in the first round of next year’s playoffs. If they do that, anything is possible from there.
The team’s two All-Stars, along with the continued emergence of Keegan Murray, will be the biggest reasons they return to the postseason. However, Barnes will continue to play a vital role to the Kings’ success. Let’s take a closer look at why keeping him in Sacramento was the right move for the team.