The NBA’s worst team in the 2015-16 season, the Philadelphia 76ers intend to push hard to sign Harrison Barnes a restricted free agent with the Golden State Warriors when the offseason free agent marketplace begins on Friday July 1.
Sources have said that Philadelphia has Barnes near the top of their list of possible targets and know Golden State will not have the money to keep him, by matching any offer he receives, if the Warriors are able to win the biggest sweepstakes of all – signing Kevin Durant.
If Barnes decided to sign an offer sheet July 8 with another team, Golden State announced it would have three days to match that offer or loss his services.
The moratorium for trades and signings is not lifted until July 8 so everyone waits patiently to see who will land the All-Stat player.
Earlier this week, sources said the Warriors rate keeping the forward as one of its top priorities if they cannot sign Durant away from Oklahoma City.
Last week it was reported by a major television sports network that Golden State was all in when it came to pursuing Durant.
However, sources earlier this week said the NBA champions from 2015 are planning to re-sign Barnes and attempt to sign a big man that is proven in the league such as Pau Gasol, David West, Timofey Mozgov or Joakim Noah, if Durant remains with Oklahoma City or signs with another team.
Golden State would like to also retain Festus Ezeli a center who is also a free agent with the team. However, how the team is able to fare in the chase for Durant will play an important role in the big man’s futures with the Warriors.
A max deal of four years for Barnes would cost Philadelphia more than $90 million, but the 76ers have to spend in excess of $40 million prior to the end of the following season to reach the projected salary floor of the league at $80,000 million.
It is conceivable as well, if things were taken that far, the 76ers and Warriors would strike a possible arrangement of sign and trade.
Sources have said that Golden State wants to retain the services of Shaun Livingston for the upcoming season. Golden State could have $2.7 million more available if Livingston is released outright before Thursday.
Livingston said he would love to return to Golden State for next year.