Harrison Barnes: Extend His Contract Now, or Wait it Out?


There is no doubt that Harrison Barnes has been a very important piece of the Golden State Warriors ever since they drafted him in the 2012 NBA draft. He had a great rookie season, averaging 9.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, and shot 43.9 percent, all on the way to earning NBA All-Rookie First Team honors in his debut season.

During the playoffs that year, Barnes took his game to another level, showing everyone how much potential he truly has. He helped lead the Warriors to a first0round upset over the Denver Nuggets, as well as almost defeating the eventual Western Conference champs, the San Antonio Spurs in the second round. Barnes averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and shot 44.4 percent in the 2013 postseason.

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His second year did not go as anyone had hoped as Barnes entered a seemingly endless slump after being sent to the bench in favor of the newly acquired Andre Iguodala. Night after night, fans everywhere prayed that Barnes would find his rhythm, but their prayers were never answered. He ended up shooting sub 40 percent from the field, and at some points just looked lost.

His third year ran much smoother as he was inserted back into the starting lineup by new head coach, Steve Kerr, which was met with some uncertainty, but all things ended up working out. As we all know the Warriors went on to win a franchise record 67 games en route to an NBA title, with Barnes lending a hand every step of the way.

Now the question that everyone in the Warriors’ front office is trying to answer is: How do they approach his impending contract situation?

Barnes has one year left on his rookie contract, and at the end of this season would become a restricted free agent, meaning the Warriors could match any offer another team makes for him. This past offseason, Draymond Green was in the same situation, and Warriors owner Joe Lacob said that they would match any offer for Green.

So why not do the same for Barnes? There is a bit of a difference this time around. Due to the NBA signing a new television deal worth much more than the previous one, the NBA’s salary cap is going to rise exponentially starting next offseason. This means that offers for Barnes could be very pricey by July of next year.

That being said, giving Barnes an extension now may be the best way to save some money so the Warriors could possibly peruse a big name free agent next year. Last Friday, Warriors General Manager, Bob Myers, was on KNBR’s radio show to talk about the situation with the young small forward.

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  • “Having been an agent, and worked with players in this situation, what has to happen is, there has to be a deal that works for them, and you respect that, and works for you,” Myers told Larry Kruger on the morning show, “Most of the time those conversations happen in October, so we’ll have those conversations in October.”

    The deadline to extend a players contract is October 31st. It has been reported that both sides do want to get a deal done, but whether that will come now or later had yet to be determined. Myers went on to talk about the likelihood of a deal being struck.

    “Will we get a deal done? I think that there is motivation on both sides, but it’s a new world,” Myers continued, “With the new cap, you have to remove what you previously thought about what a player is worth is in dollars. You have to then instead say what percentage of the cap are they going to take up.

    “If we can do a deal, we’ll happily do it.”

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