Knicks targeting Sacramento shooting specialist at trade deadline

harrison barnes, kings, knicks

With teams wheeling and dealing at the trade deadline, the New York Knicks remain quiet as they scour the market for potential upgrades. It doesn’t seem as if the front office is willing to part ways with young players, but rather trying to swap big contracts and inject different talent into a team that needs a boost.

Realistically, the Knicks need a solid point guard to help revitalize their offense and act as a floor general while Derrick Rose rehabilitates from an ankle injury. However, it will be incredibly difficult to acquire one without giving up young talent.

Alternatively, the Knicks have been connected to a myriad of guards, including CJ McCollum, who was traded from the Portland Trailblazers to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. The team has now turned their attention to forward Harrison Barnes out of Sacramento as a potential target.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, the Knicks are targeting Barnes at the deadline:

Multiple sources said, before the Haliburton trade, the Kings would be amenable to trading the 29-year-old Barnes, who played for Golden State’s superpower teams.

Barnes is an intriguing player, having signed a four-year, $85 million contract back in 2019 with Sacramento. He’s currently in the third year of his deal at 29 years old and is expected to earn $18.3 million next season before hitting free agency in 2023. The only way a deal for Barnes would work is if the team is willing to swap contracts with Evan Fournier or a package of salary dumps.

However, Fournier is in the first year of a four-year contract, so the Kings may not want to take on the guaranteed money. The Knicks may have to sweeten the deal to acquire Barnes, who is averaging 16.8 points, 2.5 assists, and 6.1 rebounds this season.

Harrison has developed into somewhat of a lethal shooter with the Kings, hitting 40.6% of the shots from three-point range this season on five attempts per game. He’s also connecting on 45.6% from the field and has a 54.5% effective field goal percentage. He’s also an 81.5% free-throw shooter, which would be a welcomed statistic for a New York team that has struggled considerably from the line.

Tangibly, Barnes offers more than Fournier as a scorer, but his defense has regressed with age. Berman also mentions Tom Thibodeau’s respect for Barnes, which creates an obvious connection between the two sides.

“A guy like Barnes gets overlooked. He’s a terrific player.”