NBA trade deadline: LeBron James sounds off after thinking Mavs traded Harrison Barnes midgame to Kings
James points out what he considers a double standard when a team trades a player, and a player requests one of his own
The Mavericks traded Harrison Barnes to the Kings midgame for Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson in a move that illustrates how Dallas while the Kings continue to push for the playoffs this year. The hope for the Kings, of course, is that Barnes will pick up the $25 million player option in his contract, although that's not a sure-fire thing by any means.
Barnes is averaging 17.8 points per game this season, and he's on a potentially expiring $94.44 million contract. It's a risky move for the Kings, but they're feeling confident as they sit just 1.5 games out of the playoffs behind the Clippers, who made it clear with the Tobias Harris trade that . The Mavs are 11th in the stacked West, so unloading Barnes makes sense for them.
LeBron James, however, took issue with how the Mavs dealt Barnes, and used the trade to talk about players wanting out while posting a clip of the announcers from Wednesday's game talking about the deal.
LeBron wrote: "So let me guess this is cool cause they had to do what was best for the franchise right??? Traded this man while he was literally playing in the game and had ZERO idea. I'm not knocking who traded him because it's a business and you have to do what you feel what's best but I just want this narrative to start to get REAL/CHANGE and not when a player wants to be traded or leaves a Franchise that he's a selfish/ungrateful player but when they trade you, release , waive, cut etc etc it's best for them! I'm ok with both honestly, truly am."
However, according to the New York Times' Marc Stein, Barnes and his agent Jeff Schwartz were informed the Kings and Hornets were after Barnes, with the Kings ultimately making the better offer. Barnes elected to play rather than sit in spite of this news.
With the NBA's 3 p.m. ET time approaching on Thursday, we'll see if James gets the help he wants, but talks with the Pelicans appear to have stalled. As for Barnes, he'll try to help lead the young Kings to their first playoff berth since the 2005-06 season.
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