SACRAMENTO -- Reinforcements are here.
Following shootaround Friday morning at the Sacramento Kings practice facility, four new members of the squad were on the court hoisting shots and getting used to their surroundings.
Harrison Barnes worked the far court with a few of the young bigs. Alec Burks took turns firing away from 3-point range with Buddy Hield. Veteran Corey Brewer was all smiles and big man Caleb Swanigan looked ready for a new challenge.
Barnes, Burks and Brewer have already cleared physicals and are on the active roster for Friday’s clash with the Miami Heat. Swanigan is still in the process of having his paperwork finished, although it’s unknown what role he might have with the team moving forward.
For Barnes, this is the first time he’s been traded mid-season. After spending his first four seasons with the Warriors, including a championship run in 2014-15, he joined the Mavs in the summer of 2016 as a free agent.
“When I heard the news, I was excited to be with the group,” Barnes said, “We’ve got a lot of young players. Definitely looking forward to helping them grow, helping them develop, helping this franchise win games and I’m excited to compete.”
Dallas missed the playoffs two straight seasons and he’s excited to join a team that’s in the thick of the race.
“Just trying to compete, trying to help these guys win,” Barnes added. “[We’re] in the middle of a playoff, so that’s exciting, especially as a veteran player that’s been to the playoffs. Trying to be a part of that again is a special thing.”
After an acclimation period, Barnes is likely to be the everyday small forward for Sacramento. He has a player option for next season at a little over $25 million and the Kings are hoping he wants to be a long term fixture on the team.
“This is definitely an exciting opportunity,” Barnes said. “I’m happy to be here. Hopefully, we can build some things here in the next 30 games that can give us a postseason berth and we can build on the future going from there.”
This is the second time this season Burks has been on the move. He was traded to the Cavs in late November after spending more than seven seasons in a Jazz uniform. He’s looking forward to playing the Kings’ style.
“Playing for another and playing for something bigger than yourself is always exciting,” Burks said. “Especially with this young group that’s energized and likes to play with each other and have fun. I think that’s the most important thing at the end of the day, we all just go out there and play for each other and just see what happens.”
Burks provides depth and experience at both backcourt positions. He is another ball handler and distributor and he’s an exceptional rebounder for a backcourt player.
While Barnes and Burks are under contract throughout the remainder of the season, Brewer signed a 10-day contract with the Kings after spending two 10-day deals with the Sixers last month.
“It’s a perfect situation, just being a wing, just being with this young team and the way they like to get play, get up and down, that’s the way I like to play,” Brewer said. “They’re trying to make the playoffs and for me, that’s what it’s all about.”
At 32-years-old, Brewer has bounced around the league plenty. Sacramento is his eighth different team, ninth if you include two different stops in Minnesota. With only 13 players under guaranteed roster spots, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Brewer stick around for more than just 10 days.
Coach Dave Joerger has the tall task of reorganizing on the fly and plugging three major pieces into the mix. Sacramento has two more games at home, before finishing their pre-All-Star break schedule Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets.
The coaching staff will have time over the break to work out some of the kinks before hitting the final 25 games of the season.