Green Target: Brian Scalabrine says Harrison Barnes should be on Boston's free agency radar
While the direction of their offseason moves remain somewhat unclear, for Danny Ainge and the Celtics, it's certainly nice to have options.
A high first round draft pick, a slew of assets and the explosion of the salary cap this summer has every fan excited about what the Celts are going to do next. Of course, when this happens, fans can get a little too excited believing that every player with a sliver of availability is headed to Boston. Odds are, Kevin Durant, the biggest fish in the free agent tank, isn't coming here. But there are realistic options that may be enticing. One of those options is still playing.
"What player out there can help you win a banner if it’s not name Kevin Durant," Scalabrine said. "I don’t think there is one. But I do think you can take a player and take the next step. I think one of those players could be a Harrison Barnes." Scalabrine was an assistant coach for Golden State during the 2013-14 season, Barnes' second year in the league.
So what would Barnes, who turns just 24 years old on May 30, bring to the table?
Missing 16 games due to an ankle injury suffered in late November, Barnes averaged a career high 11.7 points per game. He also chipped in 4.9 rebounds in 66 games this regular season.
Standing at 6'8" tall, Barnes isn't known as a terrific defender. However, he's decent and someone who has shown his capabilities in the Warriors small ball, "death lineup." Guarding shooting guard to power forwards, his length and explosive athleticism could be beneficial defensively to a Celtics team that was among the league's best at causing turnovers.
Offensively, his shooting took a small dip. This season, Barnes shot 46 percent from the field and 38 percent from three point range. That's compared to 48 percent from the field and 40 percent from three point range a year prior. Notably, his corner three point percentage took a big hit. In 2015, Barnes shot nearly 47 percent (54-115) from the corners. This season from that range, he's shot just 37.7 percent (37-98).
Nonetheless, if you were to ask Celtic fans if they would rather see Isaiah Thomas toss the ball to Harrison Barnes or, say, Evan Turner for the corner three, I think we all know the answer to that.
Between players who average at least 15 minutes per game, Barnes ranked fifth on the Warriors (fourth among starters) in usage rate at 15.9 this season. So it would be interesting to see how Barnes' game would translate in what would presumably be a larger role.
The last two tweets point out Barnes' propensity to show up in the clutch. While he and Golden State have struggled recently as they fight to stay alive against Oklahoma City, He Think He Kobe has had huge moments in the postseason over the course of Golden State's run to elite status.
Could he do the same in Celtic green? We might see.
Photo Credit: R Brent Smith/Associated Press
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