OK, there’s a lot to digest here. Let’s start at the top with the fact that the Mavs have gone ahead and traded Harrison Barnes to the Kings. A move for them that gets them off the hook for his $25M player option next year, and seeing as how Zach Randoplh is an expiring deal and Jackson is on his rookie deal, this is going to open up some additional money for the Mavs this summer. They unloaded Jordan’s money and now Barnes’ money so expect them to try and be a player once free agency starts. You know Cuban loves to be a player every summer.
Now on the surface this would be no big deal, guys get traded all the time, however in this case particular there’s one little issue.
Harrison Barnes is currently playing in a game for the Dallas Mavericks
If they were this active with the Kings in trade talks, how was he allowed to play? Do you think Cuban saw him go 4-13 and called Vlade and told him he would do the trade but Vlade had to accept right this second like in Shark Tank? The funny thing is the Kings have done something like this before! If I remember correctly they traded Kevin Martin to HOU in the middle of a game and just didn’t play him in the second half. There was also that whole Dillon/Marshon Brooks ordeal from earlier in the year which was in the middle of the game as well but it’s certainly pretty rare. Normally when a guy is in heavy trade discussions they are held out, sort of like what just happened with Marc Gasol last night.
For the Kings, this is their way of telling us that they are all in on a playoff push. Now it makes sense why they traded Iman Shumpert earlier tonight, and adding Harrison Barnes to a core of Fox/Hield/Bogdanovic/Bagley III/WCS etc is an interesting play. That’s sort of an intriguing combination of talent for a team that’s 1 game out of the final playoff spot in the West. Say what you want about Barnes and his contract, but I would think he’s a better option than Shumpert. Normally I would say a player would hate being sent from Dallas to Sacramento, and it’s true the Mavs have a promising collection of young talent, but man so do the Kings. I feel like if I was Barnes I wouldn’t be all that mad at all. Especially with a player option for $25M? Woj also said they want to make him a part of their future long term
Now I can’t exactly tell Vlade that’s the best idea, but it’s clear he gives no fucks and is pushing his chips into the middle of the table to win now. He sees a path to postseason basketball and seeing as how he doesn’t own his own pick this summer why the hell not. It’s a weird world where the Kings start making good front office moves, but maybe things are really going to be different now that the Kings might be good. Has to be awkward as shit for Barnes to head back into that locker room. To go from celebrating a win over the Hornets to realizing your ass just got traded mid game has to be tough.