The Sacramento Kings could get some much-needed help on the wing soon. According to Alvin Gentry, Harrison Barnes and Moe Harkless are on track to make their returns from injury on Wednesday.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Gentry told reporters on Monday. “I think there’s a chance but it’s still questionable. Both of them went through practice and I thought they did a pretty good job. They didn’t go through the entire thing but I thought they looked pretty good. Obviously, we have to see the after effects of going through a practice.”
Even if Barnes and Harkless don’t play against the Magic on Wednesday, Gentry anticipates that they’ll travel with them to Orlando, where their four-game road trip will start. They’ll also play the Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors during the road trip.
Barnes has been sidelined for the five games due to a right foot sprain he suffered against the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov. 24. Prior to suffering his injury, Barnes hit a bit of a rough patch, but he’s still averaging 19 points per game on the season. The Kings will need everything he has to offer on offense if they want to get back into the play-in mix.
On defense, Harkless can ease some of the burden for his teammate, assuming his knee doesn’t bother him anymore. Per 100 possessions, the Kings have been 7.0 points better on defense with Harkless on the floor.
Ultimately, Barnes and Harkless’s returns won’t mean anything if the Kings don’t play with the same effort that has led to them upsetting teams at the top half of the Western Conference this season, but having bigger bodies on the wing will surely help them.
The Kings and Magic will tip-off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. An update on Barnes and Harkless will given before then.