The Cleveland Cavaliers have established themselves as a contender in the Eastern Conference but the team has remained active monitoring the trade market in an effort to bolster the roster.
The most pressing need for the Cavaliers is a solid two-way wing and a name that has been floated as a trade option for Cleveland is Sacramento Kings veteran Harrison Barnes. Ben Axelrod of WKYC laid out five trade options for the Cavs ahead of the February 9 deadline, with Barnes being one of the more intriguing players on the list.
“Unless Sacramento feels like it can really compete this season, it would make sense for the Kings to take calls on Harrison Barnes, who is currently in the final year of his contract,” Axelrod wrote.
He continued: “A 6-foot-9 two-way player with championship experience, it would be tough to identify a better available fit for the Cavs’ void at small forward than the 30-year-old Barnes. Still, trade talks are a two-way street, and it remains unclear whether Sacramento would be willing to part with a key veteran as it looks to break the NBA’s longest playoff drought.”
Kings Might Not Be Willing to Trade Barnes
Barnes was the seventh-overall pick in the 2012 draft and won a title with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, helping take down the Cavaliers and LeBron James. He spent some years in Dallas after leaving Golden State but has been with the Kings since the 2018-19 season.
Barnes has been a consistent two-way contributor throughout his career and is averaging 14.9 points on 48.1% shooting from the field. He’s not lights out from deep but more than capable, hitting his 3-pointers at a 37.7% clip over his career, and would be an upgrade on the defensive side of the ball — something the Cavs value immensely.
As noted by Axelrod, any kind of deal would come down to the Kings being willing to deal Barnes amid a turnaround season in Sacramento. The Western Conference is a logjam but the Kings are the No. 4 seed with a 23-18 record. Barnes has started every game this season for Sacramento.
The Cavaliers don’t have a massive war chest of assets to get a deal done after dealing for Donovan Mitchell in the offseason, but it’d be interesting to see what it would take to get a deal done.
Tim Hardaway Jr. Another Frequently Mentioned Target for Cavs
Another frequently mentioned target for the Cavaliers has been Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. The interest in Hardaway was reported by Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, which he discussed on the “Wine and Gold” podcast.
“The name that I would watch is Tim Hardaway, Jr. of the Dallas Mavericks,” Fedor said. “Elite, elite outside shooter that can play the two and the three. Defends well enough and Dallas is a team that, even though they’re in the playoff mix right now and top six in the Western Conference, Hardaway, Jr.’s salary structure is one that is problematic for Dallas moving forward and I think they would be willing to move off of his salary and get somebody who brings…a different element to Dallas.”
However, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported some “hesitancy” in Cleveland about taking on Hardaway’s salary of $34.1 million over the next two seasons.