Kings news: Steve Kerr says Kings' Harrison Barnes is one of his favorites
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Warriors’ Steve Kerr says Kings’ Harrison Barnes has been one of his personal favorites in the NBA

Steve Kerr, Harrison Barnes

Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes left a complicated legacy with the Golden State Warriors and in the eyes of Steve Kerr.

The seventh-year pro was an integral piece of the team’s run to the 2015 Larry O’Brien trophy, seeming poised to remain as much as he continued developing alongside a core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. But then the 2016 Finals happened, and Barnes, who shot 5-of-30 over the last three games of the series, was an easy scapegoat for the Warriors as the Cleveland Cavaliers made history by becoming the first team to ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals.

Now three years and two more championships removed from Golden State’s collapse against Cleveland, it’s safe to say most Warriors fans have forgotten about the former North Carolina Tar Heel. Steve Kerr certainly hasn’t, though, as he made clear before his team’s game against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.

“I think Harrison is a vet. He’s a pro. He’ll be great in their locker room,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau of Barnes, who was traded to the Kings earlier this month. “It’s a really good pickup. He’s one of my personal favorites over the years, having coached him. He was just a wonderful human being.”

Barnes signed a max-level deal with the Dallas Mavericks as a restricted free agent less than a month later. His fate was sealed shortly thereafter when Kevin Durant shocked the basketball world by signing with the team who had just beaten his Oklahoma City Thunder in an epic Western Conference Finals.

The 28-year-old has played three games for Sacramento, averaging 13.3 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting an ugly 35.1 percent from the field. But Barnes should regardless prove a good fit for the Kings in time, given his improved three-point shooting ability, defensive versatility, and ability to play both forward spots.