Harrison Barnes Would be the Top Player on Most Teams


The regular season for the Golden State Warriors starts on October 27th, and the fact that we will see the defending champions on the court soon is incredibly exciting. Everybody’s eyes will be on players such as Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. However, Harrison Barnes has something to prove this season.

Last year, Barnes started just about every game, but he only averaged 10.1 points on the season. Even though he doesn’t hit the same volume of shots as Curry and Thompson, he’s still a highly accurate shooter. Barnes was always there to make clutch threes when the Splash Brothers were on a cold streak. A key reason he doesn’t score 20 points every game is because Curry and Thompson take more shots than Barnes.

With that, Barnes had multiple games during the 2015 playoffs in which he was an absolute beast. He’s such an interesting player because he mixes steady 10-point support with occasional bursts of excellence. Most players who average 10 a game don’t facilitate positive momentum changes as much as Harrison Barnes.

That’s the key to Barnes’s role on this star-studded Warriors team. He clearly isn’t the best player, but his physical and energetic style of play swings games in favor of Golden State.

Think about what it must be like playing with studs such as Curry, Thompson, Green, and Andre Iguodala. Most role players would take the backseat to stay out of the stars’ limelight. However, Barnes isn’t like most role players. Harrison Barnes provides the superb depth and shooting support that helped the Warriors win the 2015 NBA Finals. Curry is great and a true MVP, but he couldn’t lead Golden State to the championship by himself.

Honestly, Harrison Barnes would be the top player on most teams in the NBA and especially in the weak East. If you put Barnes on a team like the 76ers, he’d instantly be their best player. Perhaps Barnes would agree with that notion because he rejected a $64 million contract extension from the Warriors.

According to the linked article, Barnes would be a free agent next summer if an extension isn’t agreed upon by November 2nd. In terms of numbers, Barnes doesn’t deserve the same size contract that Draymond Green earned. However, the Warriors are now one of the most wealthy teams in the NBA, so they should be able to afford a sizable and fair contract for him.

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The organization obviously shouldn’t give him a max contract because they need to retain Curry. Yet, Barnes definitely proved himself as a valuable piece of this franchise. The Warriors couldn’t have won the NBA Finals without him. Plus, he’s a player that has improved in each of his seasons with Golden State. At this rate, Barnes will be considered one of the league’s best players at his position in the NBA.

Hopefully Barnes and the Warriors can agree on an extension because he’s perfect support for the Splash Brothers. Barnes also has a good bit of leverage in these negotiations. A dozen other NBA teams would pay Barnes top money, so the Warriors need to continue their streak of smart personnel moves.

Next: Steve Nash Adds Wisdom to the Warriors