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At 20-24, the Mavericks are four games back of the eighth-seeded Utah Jazz in the Western Conference, so they aren’t entirely out of the playoff race.
However, Windhorst posited Dallas would be in a position of strength were it to try to trade some of its more valuable assets. NBA bottom-dwellers such as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns have already moved their best trade pieces, so teams looking to buy ahead of the deadline are running out of realistic targets.
Barnes’ contract might hurt some of the Mavs’ leverage, though. He’s making $24.1 million this year and has a $25.1 million player option for 2019-20, which means any team acquiring him will potentially have a significant financial commitment going forward.
Barnes is averaging 18.1 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 40.3 percent from beyond the arc, just below his career-best mark (40.5 percent in 2014-15).
In theory, the 26-year-old would be a great addition for the 10th-place Kings, who are in need of depth on the wing. Sacramento has had to play Iman Shumpert at the 3 a lot this season, which is less than ideal.
Barnes isn’t so good the Kings would have to give up too much of value, either, as they attempt to prepare for their playoff push.
Having said that, one has to question whether Sacramento will want to sacrifice a lot of its future financial flexibility just to get Barnes. According to Spotrac, the team could have as much as $58.7 million available to spend.
The Kings might be better off keeping that money available for what is a deep 2019 free-agent class.