Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes, left, makes guard Stephen Curry laugh on the bench during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Anaheim, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. The Warriors won 136-97. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Warriors forward Harrison Barnes will be a restricted free agent this summer, and Golden State would watch him depart if it chooses not to match a lucrative offer sheet he signs.
Might that the team that lands Barnes be the Los Angeles Lakers, where current Warriors assistant Luke Walton will the head coach? Barnes isn’t talking about the possibility.
When it was brought up that Walton might look to install a Warriors-like system and look for a Warriors-like player on the open market to bring with him, Barnes said while laughing Monday on 95.7 The Game, “See, that’s tampering at that point. That’s just tampering.”
Barnes also deadpanned about Walton: “We’re definitely going to miss him, but we’ll have to just beat him four times a year.”
The Lakers will have money to spend on the free agent market, and Lakers analyst Mychal Thompson — father of Warriors guard Klay Thompson — said Monday on the ESPN LA radio show he co-hosts that Barnes “wants $20 (million per year)…Somebody might give it to him.”
Barnes averaged 11.7 points and 4.9 rebounds this season in 66 games this season. the elder Thompson feels Barnes could do more with the Lakers.
“I think he’s capable of averaging 18 a game here if the Lakers sign him and brought him here.” Thompson said. “I think he could be more of a featured scorer, maybe a No. 2 option, maybe even a No. 1 on certain nights. He’s capable of putting up in the high-20s. He’s a very good shooter, can get to the basket, very athletic. He just hasn’t been asked to do very much in Golden State, but coming here, he’d be asked to do more, and I think he could.”