CHICAGO — Warriors general manager Bob Myers spoke last week on KNBR about all the erroneous rumors leading up to the NBA’s trade deadline, noting, “I saw a ton of ‘They’re shopping (Harrison) Barnes.’”
Barnes, a second-year player, laughed on Wednesday while explaining that being young meant not fully understanding what was going on around him before the deadline. But the rumors did lead to the 21-year-old to learn from the front office what was really happening.
“It was nothing formal,” Barnes said. “They just told me obviously teams are inquiring, that’s pretty much it. I wasn’t really trying to like look through reports, figure out where I was going to go. I just wanted to try to focus on the games. Ultimately, that’s what matters most.”
And with the knowledge that other NBA teams were the ones initiating trade proposals, Barnes used it as motivation since it reflected how much better he could have been playing. This month, he improved by averaging 10.3 points and 4.4 rebounds off the bench, shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.
“You always want to find extra motivation, so the fact that your name was always floating out there, you always try to use that to get yourself going,” Barnes said.
“It focuses you in a little bit more, keeps you locked in on what you’re doing and doesn’t really allow you to let your mind wander. Obviously I’ve been playing better as of late, so I obviously want to continue to do that.”
A blockbuster deal that might have sent Barnes to another team didn’t materialize, so the Warriors have in place a highly-regarded piece for their future and present. Myers told the station Barnes was doing well in finding a balance between being a role player in need of playing longer stretches in order to get comfortable.
“Ultimate professional, probably the hardest-working guy on the team, so we have huge hopes for him, and we think he’s going to have a real high ceiling,” Myers said.