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OAKLAND – Slumping on offense in March after missing five weeks in the middle of season are not exactly what Harrison Barnes hoped for this season.
The Warriors forward is, after all, going to be a restricted free agent in July.
Is there a chance his season of struggle amidst the outstanding play of the Warriors will reduce the market for Barnes’ services? Not if you ask teammate Andrew Bogut.
“Somebody’s going to give him the max,” Bogut said Tuesday, after the team’s morning shootaround. “Let’s be honest: Someone’s going to give him close to the max. There’s always a small-market team that would love a guy like Harrison as their No. 1 or No. 2 option.
“So I don’t think it’s going to have any bearing on his financial future.”
In his fourth season, Barnes last summer reportedly rejected an offer from the Warriors said to be worth $64 million over four years. That would have put Barnes’ salary in the same sphere as those of All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Barnes, 23, entered the season hoping to establish himself as a player who could command as much as $20 million per season, approaching the maximum, when the luxury-tax threshold rises this summer and takes an ever bigger jump next summer.
Barnes hasn’t performed particularly well. He’s averaging 11.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. He sprained an ankle in late November and returned Jan. 4 but has had only one 20-point game since. He’s shooting 38.9 percent in March and his Player Efficiency Rating (12.07) has dropped to 13th on the team.
All of which has led to speculation that Barnes’ salary desires are becoming less realistic.
“I don’t buy into all of that,” Bogut said. “We’re winning, a lot of guys are sacrificing numbers and minutes and roles on this team. And that’s why we’re a great team. Harrison’s had great games. He’s had bad games, just like everybody else on this roster. So I don’t anticipate it affecting his contract situation.”