If you thought the Los Angeles Clippers trading Tobias Harris right after he had made a game winning shot (they did the same thing last year right after Blake Griffin had scored the game winner), was the peak of ruthless NBA business, then Dallas Mavericks might have just topped it.
Harrison Barnes was in the middle of the match against the Charlotte Hornets when the Dallas Mavericks completed a trade that sent Barnes to the Sacramento Kings in return for Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph.
Yes, the same grit and grind era, Zach Randolph. You haven’t seen him play because the Kings are young and play a fun fast paced version of basketball that has relegated Z-Bo to the role of a mentor.
Harrison Barnes has been a consistent scorer for the Mavericks over the last three years, averaging 19+ points over the past two seasons, though his efficiency from distance had dipped.
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) February 6, 2019
This season his scoring numbers have gone down a touch with the rise of Luka Doncic, but he’s pulled up his 3 point percentage to 39%.
The Kings have long been looking for a 2 way wing with upside and the ability to shoot the 3 ball, since forever and after several failed attempts in Restricted Free Agency (Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr.) they finally have a wing they like.
Harrison Barnes, the Kings hope, will take a bit of scoring pressure off its two young stars in Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox, who have taken major strides this season but are too young to be shouldering this much load on a team thats not just playing fun basketball, but also playing winning basketball.
For the Mavs this deal gets them out of the final year of Barnes contract (player option, but Barnes is not turning down $25 million option, in THIS 2019 FA market), potentially opening up one spot for a near max player to pair with the rising duo of Doncic and Porzingis.
LeBron James picked up the opportunity to talk about the business that is NBA, and how a team trading a player in the middle of a game is considered a funny matter but when a player requests a trade, he is deemed to have betrayed the organization that he plays for.
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So let me guess this is cool cause they had to do what was best for the franchise right??? Traded this man while he was literally playing in the game and had ZERO idea. I’m not knocking who traded him because it’s a business and you have to do what you feel what’s best but I just want this narrative to start to get REAL/CHANGE and not when a player wants to be traded or leaves a Franchise that he’s a selfish/ungrateful player but when they trade you, release , waive, cut etc etc it’s best for them! I’m ok with both honestly, truly am. Just call a ♠️ a ♠️!!
LeBron James took to IG tonight to point out the hypocrisy of teams trading players vs. players requesting trades, and take a look at who liked his post: Anthony Davis. pic.twitter.com/MACLJANyaA
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 7, 2019
But given the events of the past few days, where Lakers (read: LeBron) have tried to trade away pretty their entire roster for Anthony Davis, this post by LeBron was not taken to kindly by the internet folks. Maybe the player power that LeBron is talking about is his power to trade away all of his teammates (and for good measure his coach as well)
It is important to note however that this may be deemed as a defense of Anthony Davis who will receive flak for having requested a trade from New Orleans Pelicans, the team that drafted him in 2012 but has since done very little to aid this once-in-a-generation talent’s pursuit for post season success. While most people mocked James, it is important to take a second look at the people who liked the post (see: Anthony Davis)