In the aftermath of the Domantas Sabonis trade, the Sacramento Kings are informing teams that they intend on holding Harrison Barnes past the trade deadline, according to a report from NBA insider Marc Stein on Wednesday.
< 24 hours to go until the NBA trade deadline: Sacramento has been sending more frequent signals that it plans to keep Harrison Barnes rather than trade him, league sources say, as it chases a playoff play-in spot.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 9, 2022
The Kings have missed the playoffs for 15 seasons in a row.
Barnes has been linked to just about every team in the league with playoff aspirations this season, but if the Kings view themselves as a playoff team after acquiring an All-Star in Sabonis, then a trade is unlikely. However, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, there’s still a chance Barnes is trade, just not for a “future-based” package:
If teams want Barnes, sources say, the Kings are looking for a return that will help the current roster win this season—Sacramento is just a game out of the final play-in spot—and next, when the Kings the addition of Sabonis, a two-time All-Star, will push them into the playoff mix.
There’s no incentive for the Kings to swap Barnes for a player of his caliber at different position because of how essential Barnes’ defense and shooting will be next to Sabonis at either forward spots. If they attached Barnes to a first-round pick or another positive asset like Marvin Bagley III or Richaun Holmes, however, then they could get something substantial; possibly even another All-Star caliber player.
The problem is that outside of Ben Simmons, who seems like he’s going to be traded for James Harden at the deadline or in the summer, there really isn’t anyone available that would help the Kings reach that next level. There’s some risk in holding onto Barnes when his value is at an all-time high, especially when it’s more likely than not that the Kings will miss the playoffs again, but if the Kings are in the market to buy, then maybe waiting for the right deal isn’t the worst move.