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Harrison Barnes trade to Kings shows Sacramento is serious about a playoff run

The Kings are pushing for one of the last seeds in a stacked Western Conference.

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Detroit Pistons Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to trade Harrison Barnes to the Sacramento Kings for Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph, per Adrian Wojnarowski. The Kings are in the playoff mix, and traded for Alec Burks in a three-team deal involving Iman Shumpert earlier in the night.

Awkwardly, Barnes had played through the first three quarters of the Mavs game against the Hornets, then sat the fourth as he was traded mid-game.

The Kings finally land a bigger-name talent in Barnes, who’ll pair with with Sacramento’s impressive first- and second-year players, De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III. Barnes can score, and should serve as an off-ball compliment.

Barnes wasn’t expected to be a part of the Mavericks long-term vision with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis as the future of the franchise. Clearing his contract puts Dallas close to opening up a max contract slot for this summer.

Why this trade makes sense for the Kings

Sacramento wasn’t likely to pull a big name in free agency, and instead used its space to trade for one in Barnes. He has a player option next season, and the hope, per Woj, is to make a long-term play to keep Barnes in Sacto.

The Kings currently trail the now-tanking Tobias Harris-less Clippers by one game for the No. 8 seed in the West. Sacramento hopes Barnes and Burks helps move that needle easily.

Why this trade makes sense for the Mavs

Barnes wasn’t a part of the Mavs long-term plan, and neither are Jackson or Randolph. But this trade does open cap room for Dallas to find players who are.

Randolph’s contract expires at the end of the year, and Jackson is on a rookie scale deal. This trade gives the Mavs a flier on Jackson, a 23-year-old wing, and more freedom over the summer.