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Harrison Barnes hoping to return Saturday vs. Timberwolves

Harrison Barnes, Mavs

Dallas Mavericks small forward Harrison Barnes won’t play tonight in the season-opener against the Phoenix Suns, but the swingman is hoping he can suit up on Saturday when the team hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Barnes has a strained right hamstring which forced him to miss the entire preseason. The 26-year-old told reporters Wednesday he’s making progress and, if he’s able to practice fully on Friday, should be able to go on Saturday.

“I’m feeling good,” Barnes said, via Dwain Price of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’m making progress. Just relying on the training staff to get me back and so far everything looks good. It’s a possibility [for Saturday]. We’ll just see how it goes once I’m back and I should be 100 percent.”

Harrison Barnes played in 77 regular-season games last year for the Mavs. He averaged 18.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while shooting 44.5 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from beyond the arc and 82.7 percent from the free-throw line. Dallas signed Barnes to a four-year, $94.4 million deal in the summer of 2016.

Dorian Finney-Smith could be the player head coach Rick Carlisle decides to go with in the starting lineup while Barnes is out. The Mavs’ four other starters are Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic, Wesley Matthews and DeAndre Jordan. Future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki is still out with an ankle injury.

Barnes has career averages of 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 463 games. He won the 2015 NBA Finals with the Warriors and was on the 2013 All-Rookie team.