Could Harrison Barnes Replace Chandler Parsons?
As the NBA Finals continue, could the Dallas Mavericks be watching their next small forward in Harrison Barnes?
The Dallas Mavericks enter the offseason with a plethora of questions surrounding the roster including their biggest free agent in Chandler Parsons. Parsons will be opting out of the last year on his deal to enter the summer as an unrestricted free agent.
Parsons and the Mavericks front office have both been pretty open about making a reunion happen this summer on what many would assume would be a max contract over five years. But what if things went south?
Let’s say the Mavericks can’t add another free agent to come in with Parsons? Or if a Los Angeles or hometown Orlando come offering Parsons a max contract? What if Parsons left the Mavs for good this offseason?
Enter Harrison Barnes.
Harrison Barnes was a heralded high school prospect who spent his college days at the University of North Carolina. After spending two years in Chapel Hill, Barnes found himself joining a Warriors team that would eventually take the league by storm in a couple of years.
While Stephen Curry was in his third year and Klay Thompson in his second, the Warriors welcomed a rookie class to their team that included Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Kent Bazemore, and second round pick, Draymond Green.
Barnes came in and started 81 games his rookie season and the Warriors lost in the second round to the San Antonio Spurs. This was just the beginning of the Warriors rise.
Fast forwarding three years, the Warriors have won a title, 73 games in a season, and are in the Finals once again for a second straight year. Surrounded by the first ever unanimous MVP, the sharp shooting Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, Barnes graciously plays in the shadows for one of the deepest teams in maybe history.
But a payday is coming for Mr. Barnes.
Barnes goes into the summer as a 24-year-old, 6’8″ starting small forward on the greatest regular season team in the history of the NBA (record wise). He shot 38% from behind the arc on a little over 30 minutes a night.
The young veteran is known for his athleticism and shot, but has increased his play on the defensive end drastically over the past couple of years. Barnes takes on the task of guarding most of the best wing players in the game alongside of defensive specialist Andre Iguodala.
So why would the Warriors let the young fella walk over the summer?
To be simple, you can’t pay everyone. Both Thompson and Green are locked into long-term contracts for 15-18 million over the next multiple years. Iguodala, Bogut, and Curry all hit free agency next summer in which we all know Curry will get the max.
With the cap spike this summer, it’s not unrealistic to believe that Barnes will net around $20 million this offseason. A price that you would assume the Warriors will not be able to match considering their payroll.
Here comes the Dallas Mavericks.
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If Parsons does in fact leave, Barnes could be the young target that Dallas could turn their attention to. Handing out $20 million to Barnes sounds crazy to some, but with the Mavericks wanting to “win now” while still trying to get younger, Barnes could be a nice Plan B option for Dallas if Parsons leaves.
Barnes would give the Mavs a 24 year-old starting wing that would be locked in for the prime of his career. He would also give the Mavericks a defensive upgrade over Parsons as Barnes could provide a defensive wing combination with Matthews.
The opinions on Barnes vary as it’s almost impossible to predict the player Barnes will be outside of that Golden State cast, but Mavericks fans should keep in mind that they could be watching their next small forward play in the Finals.