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Barnes could come available while Warriors chase Durant


Barnes could come available while Warriors chase Durant

Lost in all the shock about the Golden State Warriors being in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes this summer -- it shouldn't be because this wasn't a big secret they'd enter the chase -- is a key player who could have some value pending how you view Harrison Barnes. 

How much value is in question. In this report from Monte Poole, Warriors Insider for CSNBayArea.com, the team has reservations about Barnes who was the seventh overall pick in 2012. Barnes is averaging a career-high 11.9 points on 46.5% shooting and 4.5 rebounds. He's also shooting 39.4% from three-point range.

What has made Barnes, who was a key component to their 2014-15 NBA championship team, potentially expendable?

Golden State drafted forward Kevin Looney in 2015 and, according to Poole, his "presence could affect how much the Warriors are willing to go to pay Harrison Barnes, who in July becomes a restricted free agent."

Barnes turned down a four-year, $64 million extension before the season and he will be looking to score a deal that pays him more than Draymond Green who is the more valuable of the two.

Everybody can't be given a max with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson ahead of Barnes on that priority list for Golden State, too.

Assume that the Wizards can't get Durant and Barnes is allowed to walk. How much would you pay for him considering you're betting on his ceiling rather than his individual accomplishment?

RELATED: Wizards find blueprint to victory in a loss

Poole, who is well-connected and well-respected in the Bay Area covering sports there for 30-plus years, broke down the view on Barnes from within and around the organization: 

Barnes, however, remains an enigma. Chosen 28 picks ahead of Green in the 2012 draft, Barnes manages to be simultaneously the most athletic and least impactful member of the starting lineup. His game-winning jumper last Saturday in Philadelphia notwithstanding, Barnes frazzles at least as often as often as he dazzles.

A little more than halfway through this season, Barnes has not made a strong case to command a megadeal. When he missed 16 games with an ankle sprain, there formed a couple strikes against him. One was that the team did not stumble with his replacement, Brandon Rush, who was coming out of a three-year professional coma. The other was an undercurrent of disenchantment within the organization about Barnes’ slow recovery.

The bottom-line results have been inconclusive, but most assuredly not in Barnes’ favor. The Warriors are 14-1 when he starts at small forward alongside the four regular starters and 16-1 when Rush starts with the same foursome.

Is Barnes still worth the gamble? In the final year of a four-year rookie scale contract that paid him a total of $8.8 million, he has earned a raise. 

If he commands a max, the assumption is that he will or something close to it in the inflated open market, who pulls the trigger? What it means to be a max player has become warped but that kind of money suggests a player should be at least the No. 2 option. With the Warriors, Barnes is No. 4 at best.

There's no deferring to the likes of Curry and Thompson when you're the No. 1 or 2 option and it's impossible to gauge who will rise or shrink from those expectations because human behavior is unpredictable. The Wizards have a similar decision to make with Bradley Beal who was taken four spots ahead of Barnes in the 2012 draft as he also will be a restricted free agent. Beal's only issue is health as he is battled-tested in ways that Barnes hasn't been.

The guess here is some team will take that risk as there will be lesser-talented players than Barnes who'll profit and justifiably so. No one is forcing any owner or GM to overbid for services just because of the salary cap explosion ahead. 

But they all better be careful because what looks like a great free-agent signing in the summer of 2016 will turn into buyer's remorse by 2018.

MORE WIZARDS: 'Brilliant', bold and otherworldy Stephen Curry downs Wizards

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Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC


Wizards' first pre-draft workout to feature Diallo of Kentucky, local star from UMBC

The Washington Wizards will hold their first pre-draft workout on Tuesday at Capital One Arena and the group of six players features some familiar names. 

Included in the mix is guard Jairus Lyles, who starred for the Unversity of Maryland-Baltimore County and helped lead them as a 16-seed over top-ranked Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. It was the first 16-over-a-1 upset in the tournament's history.

Here are the six players with some notes on each one...

Chris Chiozza, guard, Florida (6-0, 175)

Chiozza played four years at Florida and finished as the school's all-time assists leader. He averaged 11.1 points, 6.1 assists and 1.9 steals per game as a senior.

Hamidou Diallo, guard, Kentucky (6-5, 198)

Diallo redshirted in 2016-17 and played one season for the Wildcats. He averaged 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds while shooting 45.8 percent from the field. Diallo measured 6-foot-6 with shoes at the combine and boasts a 7-foot wingspan.

Tiwian Kendley, guard, Morgan State (6-5, 190)

Kendly was a big-time scorer at Morgan St., averaging 21.0 points as a redshirt junior and 26.1 points as a senior. He took a lot of shots, however, averaging 18.2 field goal attempts on 45.3 percent from the field this past season. Kendley starred at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Maryland before joining the college ranks, first at Lamar Community College.

Jairus Lyles, guard, UMBC (6-2, 175)

Lyles was the leading scorer for the Retrievers this past season as they became the biggest underdog Cinderella in NCAA history. He averaged 20.2 points and shot 39.0 percent from three on 6.1 attempts. Lyles began his college career at VCU and played high school ball at nearby DeMatha.

Doral Moore, center, Wake Forest (7-1, 280)

A three-year player at Wake Forest, Moore had a breakout season as a junior with averages of 11.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Moore played with Sixers star Ben Simmons in high school.

Ray Spalding, forward, Louisville (6-10, 215)

Spalding played three years at Louisville and averaged 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.5 steals per game as a junior. He posted a 7-5 wingspan at the NBA Combine. Spalding played with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell in college. 

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2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

2017-18 Wizards roster review: Mike Scott

To wrap up the 2017-18 season, we are looking at each player on the Wizards' roster. Today, we evaluate Mike Scott's season...

Player: Mike Scott

Position: Power forward

Age: 29

2017-18 salary: $1.7 million

2017-18 stats: 76 G, 18.5 mpg, 8.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.1 bpg, 52.7 FG%, 40.5 3P%, 65.8 FT%, 59.0 eFG%, 109 ORtg, 111 DRtg

Best game: 12/9 at Clippers - 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 9-for-11 FG, 3-for-4 3PT, 28 minutes

Season review: The 2017-18 Wizards season was full of unpredictability and the most positive surprise had to be the comeback of Mike Scott.

The Wizards signed Scott to a veteran minimum contract last offseason after a workout at Capital One Arena. This came just months after he had felony drug charges dropped in the state of Georgia, he lost 25 pounds and rehabbed a leg injury. That spring he had wondered, and justifiably, if his NBA career was over.

Scott overcame all of those odds to not only return to the NBA, but re-establish himself as a productive player off the bench. No one was more consistent start-to-finish in the Wizards' second unit than Scott was.

Scott earned a significant role in head coach Scott Brooks' rotation out of the preseason and stayed there. He reached double-figures in 31 of his 76 games, second only to Kelly Oubre, Jr. on the Wizards. 

Scott's primary value was on offense. He scored inside and out and got his points with remarkable efficiency. He led the Wizards and was tied for 11th in the NBA in effective field-goal percentage. He was second on Washington in field goal percentage and third in three-point percentage. 

Scott closed the season strong, reaching double-figures in scoring in seven of the last nine regular season games. He carried that over into the playoffs with 46 points through their first three games against the Raptors. 

Now comes the question of how much money Scott earned himself with his comeback year and whether the Wizards can afford keeping him. Since they are in the luxury tax, they will have little money to spend this summer. 

The way to keep Scott would be to use the remainder of their taxpayer mid-level exception, but that figures to be only about $1.9 million, not much more than what Scott made in 2017-18. Given how well he played this season, it would not be surprising if he earns much more than that.

Potential to improve: Free throw shooting, forcing turnovers, ability to guard bigs

More player season reviews:

John Wall, PG

Bradley Beal, SG

Otto Porter, SF

Markieff Morris, PF

Marcin Gortat, C

Kelly Oubre, Jr., SF

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