Harrison Barnes on how the newest Kings have fit in thus far

Oct 5, 2023, 7:42 AM

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 02: Harrison Barnes #40 of the Sacramento Kings poses for a photo ...

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

As the Sacramento Kings inch closer to Sunday’s preseason opener against the Toronto Raptors in Vancouver, Canada, things are ramping up at this week’s training camp.

Veteran forward Harrison Barnes met with the local media following Wednesday’s practice to give his take on how the newest members of the roster–JaVale McGee, Sasha Vezenkov, and Chris Duarte–have fit in with last year’s group of talent that made the NBA Playoffs.

YouTube video

Does this training camp feel different following last year’s success?

“I think for the most part just have familiarity with what we’re trying to do and accomplish, get more into live action, competitive stuff sooner, a little less teaching. So, that’s always positive.”

Does “a little less teaching” a sign of this group taking a step forward?

“Yeah, I think it’s a step forward, but also just a lot of guys coming back. We know what we’re trying to accomplish, adding different wrinkles to that, just competing. That’s the biggest thing.”

How are the new guys fitting in so far?

“All of their strengths are things that just allow them to fit in seamlessly. Sasha obviously can shoot the heck out of the ball, same with Chris. JaVale has made his presence known on the defensive end, the offensive end, playing above the rim. Those guys have been able to come in and make an immediate impact.”

More on Kings forward Harrison Barnes

During a contract year in 2022-23 for ‘The Black Falcon,’ Barnes was a constant presence in Sacramento’s lineup for all of the team’s 89 games.

Over 82 appearances during the 2022-23 regular season, Barnes averaged 15.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game on 47 percent shooting from the field and 37 percent from three-point range.

The 31-year-old struggled during the seven-game series loss against the Golden State Warriors in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs (10.7 points per game on 41/24/73 shooting splits), a component of Barnes’ season that cast some doubt over the forward’s potential return to the Kings in free agency.

While some fans wanted Sacramento general manager Monte McNair to upgrade Barnes’ position in free agency or on the trade market, the Kings quickly brought the veteran back on a three-year, $54 million contract to keep him in the 916 through the 2025-26 season.

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Preseason Schedule

  • Sunday, October 8th – Sacramento Kings @ Toronto Raptors – 5 PM PST (Preseason Opener)
  • Wednesday, October 11th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7 PM PST (in Anaheim, CA)
  • Sunday, October 15th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Wednesday, October 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Thursday, October 19th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7 PM PST

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule

  • Tuesday, October 24th – NBA regular season begins
  • Wednesday, October 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6 PM (Season Opener)
  • Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM (Home Opener)

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Harrison Barnes on how the newest Kings have fit in thus far