Source: Kings focused on winning, not shopping Harrison Barnes

Despite trade rumors swirling, Barnes off the table in Sacramento

Rumors continue to swirl with regards to Kings forward Harrison Barnes. The 30-year-old wing got off to a slow start this season and he’s playing out the final year of his contract that pays him $18.3 million.

According to a league source, the Kings are not currently in conversations regarding Barnes and they are focused on building chemistry with the present roster.

After coming out cold to start the season, Barnes has woken from his slumber. He dropped a 27-point, nine-rebound, three-assist performance in the Kings’ win over the Pistons on Sunday.

Over his last six games, Barnes is averaging 16.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting 61.2 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from 3-point range. You can add 1.2 steals and just .5 turnovers per game during this stretch.

Head coach Mike Brown relies heavily on Barnes and the veteran has made some strong adjustments. Barnes’ numbers are on the rise, including his 3-point percentage, which has climbed to 26.5 percent after a tough start in the first nine games of the season when he shot just 16.7 percent.

It’s a long season and this can change, but for now, Barnes is sticking around. His unrestricted status at the end of the year is a concern, but a source confirms that the Kings have been in constant communication with his representation.

The same may not be the case for veteran center Richaun Holmes. Despite being in the second year of a four-year contract, Holmes has fallen out of the rotation. The 29-year-old hasn’t seen action in six of the last seven games, with his only court time coming in the 153-121 blowout win over the Brooklyn Nets.

Whether the Kings can find a trade partner for Holmes is in question. He’s owed $11.2 million this season, $12 million next season and he has a player option for $12.9 million in 2024-25.

Holmes’ situation is a difficult one. He’s a strong pick-and-roll player and he’s known for his high-motor play. He lost his job in Sacramento when the Kings acquired Domantas Sabonis at the trade deadline last season and he is ill-suited for the team’s motion offense under Brown.

There are a few teams that could use a player like Holmes, but his contract, which looked like a steal when signed in 2021, may be difficult to move. Sacramento has additional depth at the five, with Chimezie Metu seeing minutes, Alex Len hiding on the bench and two-way player Neemias Queta getting minutes with the Stockton Kings in the G League.

Kings general manager Monte McNair likes to be aggressive and he knows his roster isn’t complete. If he can make a move without upsetting the delicate chemistry building, expect him to at least consider it.

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