Harrison Barnes finally emerged as the player he was always thought to become since he entered the NBA 5 years ago.
Barnes was the best player on the Mavericks this year and was able to lead an injury-plagued team to almost playoff contention. Also at only 24 years old, Barnes has plenty of time to develop and improve his game. The Mavericks just might have found the perfect player to build around for their post-Dirk future.
Harrison Barnes entered the league as the 7th overall pick in the draft from North Carolina. At North Carolina, Barnes starred for two years under legendary coach Roy Williams. He showed his scoring prowess their as he was one of the leading scorers for the Tar Heels in his time at Chapel Hill. Once Barnes entered the league he joined one of the league’s most talented young teams, the Golden State Warriors.
During his years in Golden State, 2x MVP Stephen Curry and perennial All-Star’s Klay Thompson and Draymond Green always overshadowed him. Barnes never had a chance to show that he could be top dog on a team and lead a team. Despite all of this, Barnes still received a ton of blame for the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead in last year’s NBA Finals. Overall Barnes was a solid player for the Warriors, but when news came out of the Mavericks offering him a 4 year/94 million dollar deal, many thought that the Mavericks would come to extremely regret this decision.
When the preseason started, Barnes struggled to find a rhythm on this team. He could not seem to get into the flow of Rick Carlisle’s offense. This led to a lot of concern from MFFL’s including myself. Then the regular season started and although the Mavericks struggled at first, Barnes played well.
Eventually all of the high scoring games from Barnes started to translate into some wins. Barnes was easily the most consistent player on the Mavericks this year, as you could count on him for around 20 points a night. He even showed his clutch ability with a game winner versus the Clippers. Barnes continued to improve as the season progressed and at only 24 years old, it will be interesting to see his continued development.
If Barnes can improve his handle and his defense, we could be looking at the next Dallas superstar. If he were to do this, he would probably be considered one of the league’s more complete players. Barnes’s ceiling is very high as long as he keeps putting in the work. Good news, even Dirk commented about how impressed he was with Barnes’s work ethic.
Barnes just might be the future of this franchise. Along with Barnes, young studs Nerlens Noel (RFA), Seth Curry, Yogi Ferrell, and a lottery pick from this year’s draft; MFFL’s could find that a rebuild might not be too long or too bad. MFFL’s should be excited for the upcoming years to watch Harrison Barnes turn into Dallas’s next superstar.