No off days for Harrison Barnes, even during the NBA hiatus. The Sacramento Kings forward will be taking part in the NBA 2K Players Tournament starting this Friday, April 3. The matchups will air on ESPN and ESPN2, and the full schedule can be found here.
The players were seeded by their 2K rating, with the tiebreaker being years in the league. That places Barnes (whose rating is 78) 15th among the 16 players with a first-round date against 21-year-old Trae Young. Here is the bracket:
Per the release from the league, the tournament is single-elimination through the first two rounds and then best-of-three for the semifinals and finals. The winner will earn a $100,000 donation to the charity of his choice to help with coronavirus relief.
Each player will pick eight teams to use over the course of the tournament. After using a team once, the player can no longer use that team again. If two players try to use the same team, the lower seed gets to choose, which is about the only thing that works in Barnes’ favor during this tournament.
Young is likely to be a formidable opponent on age alone, and it seems like oddsmakers agree. BetOnline.AG has given Barnes 20/1 odds to win the tournament, which are the 12th-lowest odds out of the 16-player group. They also gave him the third-best odds to score the least amount of points in the first round, which seems excessively mean.
If Barnes only gets to play one round, ideally he starts with the Sacramento Kings. I’d say he also picks the Dallas Mavericks and the Warriors out of familiarity, but the other five teams are anybody’s best guess. Hopefully, he reps Sacramento well.