The Kings' play in the 2022-23 NBA season has surprised many pundits, including The Athletic's Shams Charania.
Speaking on FanDuel TV's "Run It Back" show, Charania explained that Sacramento has an assortment of assets available to them to pursue an impact piece in the offseason, and bringing back veteran forward Harrison Barnes will be a top priority.
"They have Harrison Barnes on an expiring contract," Charania said. "I'm sure they're going to look to bring him back in the summer, just in terms of how important he's been to their culture and the fabric of what they're building."
Barnes' championship experience and veteran leadership are needed on a team as young as the Kings. Sacramento currently is tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers in having the 10th-youngest team in the NBA, with an average age of 25.4.
Despite the lack of experience, Sacramento (32-25) currently sits in third place in the Western Conference, three games behind the Memphis Grizzlies (35-22) for second and one game ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers (33-28).
As a veteran, Barnes often speaks of what the team needs to improve on in tough losses or highlights what stood out in impressive victories. It is that veteran savvy and leadership the Kings need to get them into the playoffs, a place they haven't been in 16 seasons.
Looking ahead to the offseason, Charania states that Sacramento has what it takes to make a splash in the coming months, should it decide to do so.
"... They have the ability to -- Monte McNair, Wes Wilcox -- they have the assets there to go get real significant talent in the offseason and moving forward," Charania added. "So, maybe not yet but this team is definitely building and I'm sure making Kings fans proud."
If the Kings are willing to add a premier player via trade, they certainly have the draft picks to do so.
The Kings also have $107 million allocated to nine players, and with the NBA's salary cap projected to be $134 million for the 2023-24 NBA season, they have some cap space to work with if they wanted to bring in a free agent.
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Though Barnes' counting stats are either below or at the same place as his first full season in Sacramento during the 2019-20 coronavirus-shortened season, the 30-year-old is an invaluable locker-room presence.
And for a team like the Kings, that is exactly what they need, especially with an important offseason looming.