Over the last three games of the NBA Finals, Harrison Barnes hit just 5/32 of his shots. That’s 16 percent. That’s unbelievably bad.
When the Warriors retool their roster, they obviously need to evaluate whether they can let Barnes disrupt another championship dream. A safe bet is that GM Bob Myers is ready to move on. It might take some convincing with Steve Kerr, who rode with Barnes until the bitter end.
The other reason for the hesitancy on retaining Barnes, is that the NBA’s salary cap will jump from $70 million to $94 million for the 2016-17 season. Contracts this summer are going to be absurd — even more than they normally are. And if you’re dishing out that kind of cash, you either want to make a significant upgrade, or slide a cheaper veteran into Barnes’ place when the free agent frenzy quiets down.
Here are some players Myers, Kerr and other members of the Warriors’ front office are likely discussing and evaluating.
Last season in Oklahoma City: 28.2 ppg, 8.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 50.5 field goal percentage, 38.6 three-point percentage
Why he fits: Obtaining a top five player in free agency is a once every 10-year kind of proposition. The attention he will command will free up Steph Curry and especially Klay Thompson. It would be considered the ultimate power move in reclaiming the Larry O’Brien trophy from LeBron and Cleveland.
Why he doesn’t: Will there be enough shots to go around? That’s a worry the Warriors would want to have, though.
Last season in Dallas: 13.7 ppg, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 49.2 field goal percentage, 41.4 three-point percentage
Why he fits: He’s a hot commodity because he’s a coveted stretch four who can sink three-pointers and play up-tempo. Parsons can also catch fire. He’ll win you a few games on his own, he’s a versatile 6-foot-10 defender and would be extremely dangerous running with the Warriors on fast breaks. Outside of Durant, he’s the most dynamic offensive option on this list.
Why he doesn’t: For a team that needs more toughness, Parsons is lacking on that end. He’s not much of a rebounder. He’s going to command a ton of money, likely upwards of $22 million per season. With Mark Cuban still in charge, Dallas also seems committed to keeping their current roster together. Parsons is also brittle — he’s missed at least 15 games in three of his five seasons. He’s currently recovering from “minor microfracture” surgery.
Last season in Charlotte: 14.9 ppg, 6.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 42.6 field goal percentage, 34.8 three-point percentage
Why he fits: If and when Durant re-signs with the Thunder, Batum’s the most fundamentally sound player on this list. The Warriors are looking for consistency at this position and Batum provides it. He can guard multiple positions on defense and hit three-pointers. He’s also a skilled rebounder for his 6-foot-7 frame. He’s also the best pure passer on the list and his 14.9 points per game with the Hornets were a career-high.
Why he doesn’t: The label Batum has always carried: jack of all trades, master of none. He’s also reached his ceiling as a player. Batum isn’t a player that passes up a shot, but his mindset might change if he’s flanked by the Splash Brothers.
Last season in New Orleans: 17.0 ppg, 6.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 42.7 field goal percentage, 36.6 three-point percentage
Why he fits: His size. At 6-foot-10, nobody is stopping Anderson from firing off his lethal catch-and-shoot from behind the arc. He’s a dangerous screen-setter at that height, something that pairs well with Kerr’s offensive system.
Why he doesn’t: Anderson really isn’t a ball-handler and will rarely create on his own. Also, Google his name right now. Every team wants him — Washington, Miami, Boston, Indiana. He’s going to be a player gobbled up quickly in free agency because he plays the stretch four. Despite the gaudy numbers, Anderson’s been mostly a bench body during his eight-year career.
Last season in Boston: 10.5 ppg, 4.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 45.6 field goal percentage, 24.1 three-point percentage
Why he fits: He’s scrappy and he’s got a midrange game that would be a nice yin to the Warriors’ yang of three-point shooting. He’s a terrific dribbler who, like Draymond Green, can handle the rock to set up Curry and Thompson off the ball.
Why he doesn’t: He’s a little on the small side (6-foot-7, 207 pounds), especially in a lineup with Draymond at center. He and Thompson are very similar defenders and it would be tough to ask him to guard power forwards. He will brick three-pointers if you require him to take them. He’d be a strong player off the bench, but an iffy replacement for Barnes.
Last season in Charlotte: 11.7 ppg, 6.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 45.2 field goal percentage, 40.2 three-point percentage
Why he fits: More than 50 percent of his shots last season were three-pointers. He’s essentially an older, more reliable Barnes. Last season was Williams’ highest scoring output since a 2008-09 season with the Hawks. His 1.16 points per post-up were the highest in the league. Williams would give Golden State a lot of different looks to experiment with.
Why he doesn’t: He’s lost a step or two, and won’t be piping down many dunks if he signs. Also, his shooting this season was by far the best in his career. There are some worries he won’t be able to churn out a repeat performance, especially on an entirely new team.
Allen Crabbe (restricted)
Last season in Portland: 10.3 ppg, 2.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 45.9 field goal percentage, 39.4 three-point percentage
Why he fits: Crabbe gave the Warriors fits in the second round of the playoffs, averaging 12.6 points per game while hitting 52.9 percent of his three-pointers. Myers won’t forget that fact. Crabbe’s just 6-foot-6, but he’s got a 6-foot-11 wingspan that helps him out tremendously on defense.
Why he doesn’t: He’s not a rim attacker, often settling for floaters in the lane rather than slashing to the hoop. He was a bench player in Portland, thriving in a sixth man role against other backups in the second and fourth quarters. With a bigger spotlight on his back, the Warriors could run into inconsistency issues, putting them back at the square one they were at with Barnes. It’s tough to call him a power forward in a small lineup.