NBA Rumors: Harrison Barnes Leaving Golden State Warriors For Indiana Pacers

NBA rumors are swirling around Harrison Barnes. As the Golden State Warriors continue their quest to repeat as champions of the National Basketball Association, the impending free agency status of Barnes looms over the franchise. The former North Carolina Tar Heels star will receive quite a bit of interest from other teams in the league. According to Hoops Rumors, one of those teams might be the Indiana Pacers. They’re looking for someone to complement franchise player, Paul George.

Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird really wants Paul George to play the power forward position. He feels that it is the best way for the Pacers to compete for an NBA Championship. The uptempo style is how the Golden State Warriors ended up dominating the National Basketball Association. Bird is so committed to the idea that he was willing to let a good head coach in Frank Vogel go after the season ended.

Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird
Since he prefers playing small forward, Paul George is not exactly thrilled with the prospect of playing power forward. He simply does not want to guard bigger NBA players in the low post. George is just 220 pounds, and a lot of power forwards in the National Basketball Association weigh 240 pounds or more. That takes a toll on players, especially those that need to conserve their energy on the offensive end of the court. George is still the focal point on offense for the Indiana Pacers.

One way to appease Paul George would be to find a small forward that is versatile enough to defend power forwards. Harrison Barnes fits the bill. Right now, he’s the starting small forward for the Golden State Warriors. However, head coach Steve Kerr will oftentimes sub Andre Iguodala into the lineup for starting center Andrew Bogut. In that scenario, Barnes moves from small forward to power forward.

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George
Even though the thought of leaving a perennial powerhouse like the Golden State Warriors seems hard to fathom, Harrison Barnes might be seeking something more. He’s already got an NBA Championship right. He might get another this season. Barnes might now be seeking to build on his own resume. After all, he’s just 23-years-old. Harrison would have a bigger role with the Indiana Pacers. That might be very appealing to him.

A great way for Harrison Barnes to build up his NBA resume would be to help the Indiana Pacers win a championship. That would give him the label of being someone that can win wherever they go, much like what Robert Horry did. It would also allow Barnes to escape the shadows of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. Those three guys are given the most credit for the success that the Golden State Warriors are having.

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner
The addition of Harrison Barnes might have a tremendous effect on Myles Turner and Ian Mahinmi. Turner shocked everyone by being a much better player during his rookie year than people initially thought he would be. He has superstar written all over him. Mahinmi proved that he’s a legitimate starting center in the NBA. One of them would have to go to the bench. Mahinmi becomes a free agent, but it would bode the Indiana Pacers well to keep him around so that they can have another option in case they’re up against a big and physical team like the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Harrison Barnes has a very bright future in the NBA. He’ll either continue to win championships with the Golden State Warriors. Or, he will be paid heavily by another team in the National Basketball Association and be given a chance to become a bigger star.

[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]