With the Dallas Mavericks having recently acquired injured New York Knicks star forward Kristaps Porzingis in a blockbuster trade, the team made another big move ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, sending starting small forward Harrison Barnes to the Sacramento Kings. As reported by ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Mavericks will be getting second-year forward Justin Jackson and veteran big man Zach Randolph in return.
While Jackson’s arrival in Dallas gives the Mavericks another young piece to complement star rookie Luka Doncic, Barnes’ impending addition to the Kings roster stuck out as interesting for Wojnarowski. The ESPN NBA insider wrote that Sacramento is hoping to make a “long-term play” to keep the 26-year-old Barnes around for the long haul, given the fact that he has a player option worth $25 million for the 2019-20 season.
A former Golden State Warriors draft pick and U.S. Olympian, Harrison Barnes became a top offensive option when he signed with the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent in the 2016 offseason. Currently, he is averaging 17.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 48 games, while shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 39 percent from three-point range. He will be joining a Sacramento Kings team ranked No. 9 in the Western Conference with a 28-25 record and just one game behind the No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers in the playoff race.
As for Justin Jackson, the former University of North Carolina standout has shown some flashes of brilliance in his two years in the NBA but has yet to earn a regular starting role in the league. At the time of the reported trade, he was averaging 6.7 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists off the bench for the Kings and playing behind Iman Shumpert, a natural guard who was sent to the Houston Rockets in a three-way trade earlier on Wednesday, per ESPN.
Given the Mavericks’ current lack of depth at forward with Barnes moving to Sacramento, there could be a chance Jackson will earn a starting job in Dallas. However, the Smoking Cuban noted that the main benefit of the Barnes trade could be the salary cap space the Mavs could use in the summer of 2019 to sign a top-tier free agent.
Meanwhile, it appears doubtful that the Mavericks will be hanging on to the 37-year-old Randolph after the trade, according to a Twitter post from Wojnarowski that followed up on his original report. Wojnarowski tweeted that Dallas management is expected to meet with Randolph and his agent, Raymond Brothers, to discuss the 18-season NBA veteran’s “future.” Randolph, a former All-Star who has career averages of 16.6 points and 9.1 rebounds, per Basketball-Reference, has yet to play a game this season and will become a free agent if the Mavericks choose to waive him.