Mavs news: Mark Cuban calls Harrison Barnes most cerebral player since Steve Nash
The Dallas Mavericks have undergone a re-tooling process and while Dirk Nowitzki is bound to cede the mantle once he calls it quits, it will likely go to young Harrison Barnes, who had taken up the task of being the team’s leading scorer.
Owner Mark Cuban won’t place the title of him being the face of the franchise just yet, offering that it is awarded by the fans, not the owner or the executives of the team.
“You can’t anoint someone into that role, fans accept players into that role,” Cuban told Dalton Trigg of SB Nation. “It’s a learning process for players and fans alike.”
“[Barnes] is probably the most cerebral player we have had here since Steve Nash. Like Steve, he is self aware, contextually aware, smart and works his ass off to be great. HB, like Steve before him, saw his role change when he came to the Mavs and has adjusted his training — physically, skills-wise and mentally — to improve at that new role. It’s not easy. But he puts everything into getting there.”
Nash is known as one of the best minds at his position, and if Barnes is cut from the same cloth, he can find himself as the face of the franchise as Nash once was for the Phoenix Suns.
The North Carolina product saw a huge improvement in his numbers, jumping from a then-career -high 11.7 points per game with the Golden State Warriors to 19.2 points per game in five more minutes of playing time and more abundant shot opportunities with the Mavericks.
If he can pair his athletic talent with some veteran wisdom, Barnes can be in line to be that cornerstone player that the franchise hoped he’d become acquiring him in 2016.