Harrison Barnes

Why Barnes gave up millions in Kings' DeRozan deal with Spurs, Bulls

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When Harrison Barnes signed a three-year, $54 million contract to stay with the Kings last summer, the deal included a 10 percent trade kicker.

If the Kings were to trade him, Barnes would receive a 10-percent salary bonus on the remaining money on his contract from Sacramento.

Barnes revealed to reporters during his introductory press conference with the Spurs on Tuesday that he actually waived the entire trade kicker to help facilitate the three-team deal that sent six-time NBA All-Star DeMar DeRozan to the Kings.

"There were definitely options where that was a factor, whether or not it would be waived or not," Barnes told reporters. "For the ability to be able to come to San Antonio, it was a pretty easy decision for me."

Barnes spent six seasons with the Kings, becoming an instrumental part of the 2022-23 team that ended the franchise's 17-year playoff drought.

But as the Kings looked for a way to improve a roster that missed the playoffs last season, Barnes' salary was key in making any blockbuster trade work.

Barnes is scheduled to make $18 million during the 2024-25 season and $19 million in 2025-26, via Spotrac, meaning he waived the ability to make an extra $3.7 million via the trade kicker.

Barnes explained why the Spurs, who finished with the second-worst record in the Western Conference last season (22-60), were so appealing to him.

"Just the opportunity," Barnes said. "It's funny. With the new CBA, the trade kicker became more of a play than I was expecting. But I think just the opportunity to come here and to play for [coach Gregg Popovich], play with this group, I think is exciting, just because it takes a while to build things in this league, and in order to be good, you have to have a formula to success, and I think over the years, the Spurs have been one of the toughest teams I've competed against. They've been a first-class organization in every way."

Barnes joins former Warriors point guard Chris Paul as the Spurs' veteran additions this summer, joining forces with 2023-24 NBA Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama and young wings Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan.

In the same way that Barnes helped shepherd a young Kings squad from NBA lottery team to playoff contender, he will try to do the same with the Spurs, his fourth different franchise.

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