Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes has until October 31 to either sign a contract extension with the team or become a restricted free agent the following summer. Now, according to a new report, it appears that both sides side have already put at least one set of numbers on the table.
On Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports wrote that even though the Warrior's four-year deal worth $64 million was turned down, it might be "a starting point in talks that could last until the Oct. 31 deadline for rookie extensions."
Wojnarowski further said that the team is trying to prevent Barnes from reaching restricted free agency come July 2016, which is the time when a rising salary cap and scores of teams with financial flexibility will add up to Barnes' burgeoning talent and potential, making him a significant target on the market.
This is the first time that news of the 23-year-old player's contract extension talks has hit the web. At $16 million per year, it would make Barnes one of the highest-paid players on the Warriors' lineup, comparable to Draymond Green and Klay Thompson's newly signed contracts. The report even noted that the Warrior's offer to Barnes is almost the same to Green's five-year, $82 million extension deal.
The team supposedly made this offer while Barnes was still represented by his former agent Jeff Weschler. The player saw the offer, disagreed to it, and then reportedly parted ways with his Weschler. He is now being represented by Jeff Schwartz, who also serves as the agent for LaMarcus Aldridge and Shaun Livingston, among others.
The 6-foot-8-inch-tall small forward started in all 82 games of the Warriors' first championship season in 40 years. He delivered an average of 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds for the team in his third season as a pro.
After the acquisition of Chris Babb from the Boston Celtics, the Golden State Warriors seem committed to keep shooting guard in their training camp roster and eventually include him to their final roster. Boston Globe's Gary Washburn reported that the reigning champions have yet to waive Babb and are willing to give him the chance to make the team.
Chris Babb transferred from Penn State and graduated from Iowa State University after playing 2 years as a starter under coach Fred Hoiberg (now head coach of the Chicago Bulls). Then he went undrafted in 2013. In his sophomore season in Penn State he delivered 69 assists and 22 steals, making him the third player in the school's history with the most number of steals and assists.
The 6-foot-5-inch-tall shooting guard also became the second highest 3-point shooter by scoring on target 69 out of 185 (37.3 percent) from beyond the arc. Babb caught the attention of the Celtics while he played for the Maine Red Claws in the NBA D-League.