For potential NBA title contenders looking to bolster their rosters with shooting and size for the playoff run, few players may be as enticing as the Sacramento Kings' Harrison Barnes as a possible trade target. However, his current club may be loathe to part with the veteran forward.
Per a report by The Athletic's Sam Amick, teams around the association have been given the impression that Sacramento's decision-makers have "no interest" in moving Barnes ahead of the league's March 25 trade deadline.
While one could argue that Barnes is approaching the end of his prime years and may not fit the Kings' current timeline, he's also young enough at 28 that he likely has several more years of high-level basketball left in him. As it stands, he looks to be in the midst of a career year in his ninth campaign as a pro.
Barnes is currently averaging 16.7 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest, as tracked by Basketball-Reference. While he has put up bigger scoring numbers in the past, specifically during his two-plus seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, he has never been more efficient as a scorer than he's been thus far in 2020-21.
He currently boasts a career-best effective field goal percentage of 57.0, which is largely a byproduct of his continued efficacy from three-point range and an overall uptick from the field. Moreover, he's getting to the free-throw line at a higher rate than ever before while knocking down nearly 86 percent of his foul shots.
The former No. 7 overall pick may be owed more than $60 million through the 2022-23 season, as noted by Amick, but his annual pay declines year over year in what is one of the more team-friendly arrangements in the league.
Nevertheless, Barnes' name continues to be bandied about by fans and media members alike as trade chatter heats up.
As relayed by The Inquisitr earlier this month, Jack Maloney of CBS Sports name-checked Barnes as a player who could potentially be targeted by the Boston Celtics. The team, which is only two games above 0.500 as of this writing, could use its $28.5 million Traded Player Exception (TPE) -- which was created when Boston signed and traded Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets -- to acquire Barnes.
In spite of the discussion about teams looking to bring him on board, Barnes remains focused on the task at hand with the Kings.
"Coming into the NBA, you know those are conversations you're going to have every deadline, every offseason, regardless of how good your team is doing," Barnes told ESPN's Rachel Nichols, via The Sacramento Bee. "It's always nice to be appreciated for your play, but right now my focus is on Sacramento. That's all I can control at this point and trying to be the best I can for this organization and my teammates."