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Report: Pelicans considered spending all of their cap space on Harrison Barnes in 2016

Harrison Barnes, Mavs, Alvin Gentry, Pelicans

During the summer of 2016, the New Orleans Pelicans considered spending all of their cap space on small forward Harrison Barnes, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN.

The Golden State Warriors let Harrison Barnes walk in free agency that offseason because they signed Kevin Durant.

When the Pelicans got cap space again, it was at the worst time: the summer of 2016, when the cap spike led to gross overpays. Their deal for E’Twaun Moore worked out fine (recent mega-slump aside). The bigger one for Solomon Hill did not. (They considered spending all of their space on Harrison Barnes, sources have told ESPN.com, a move that probably wouldn’t have changed their trajectory.)

The Pelicans ended up not signing Harrison Barnes. The 6-foot-8 small forward signed a four-year, $94.4 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks.

New Orleans has been trying to get more talent around superstar big man Anthony Davis. The franchise traded for All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins in 2017 with the hope that Boogie and AD could become the next dominant frontcourt in the NBA. Cousins, however, tore his Achilles tendon last season and is now with the Golden State Warriors.

Harrison Barnes is a volume scorer, so adding him next to Davis probably wouldn’t have helped the Pelicans improve that much.