Warriors

Warriors focus: Harrison Barnes

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Warriors focus: Harrison Barnes

This is the first of seven individual player analysis, focusing on new Warriors' faces. The Warriors have made plenty of changes since the end of the 2011-12 season. They will likely have four first-year players on their roster come the start of the season, and they also acquired veterans Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry.Center Andrew Bogut came to the Warriors in March, but hes a newcomer, too, if you factor in that he still hasnt played a game for the team yet. With training camp set to begin in early October, lets begin our player-by-player analysis of the Warriors new players.Harrison Barnes, 6-foot-8, 210 pounds, small forward.It seems like all anyone wants to know right now is whether or not Barnes, selected with the No. 7 pick in June, will be the starting small forward come the season-opener. But that question seems awfully premature at this point.Nobody is saying Barnes wont be a nice NBA player down the line. But the league is littered with high draft picks that struggle to make an impact in the first year or two of their careers. In the last two years alone, several high draft picks are struggling to find their niche, including: Derrick Williams, Tristan Thompson, Bismack Biyombo, Wes Johnson, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jimmer Fredette, etc.Jonny Flynn was the No. 6 pick in 2009, and hes not even on a roster at this point. In other words, it can be a mistake to expect too much too soon from a rookie, and Barnes is no exception. Before you start thinking about Barnes as a starter, lets see him as a bona-fide NBA player and contributor first.If Barnes proves he can be that by the end of the season, chances are the starting will have probably taken care of itself.RELATED: Harrison Barnes 2012 Summer League stats
Barnes will be competing for minutes at the small forward position along with Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson. Rush made it clear after he re-signed last month that he wants to start, and hes got as much reason to claim that spot as anyone else.Jeffersons best years are behind him, but hes still good enough and professional enough that he will be difficult to overlook. As far as playing in big games and havingplayoff experience, nobody on the Warriors can touch Jefferson. Barnes strengths seem to be his size, his athleticism and his ability to shoot the basketball in certain situations. Hes not the type of player who can consistently create his own shot and it remains to be seen whether hell become one but he does have the ability to elevate after one dribble and shoot over some defenders.Like all rookies, Barnes will struggle to defend, but theres no reason with his length and athleticism that he couldnt become an above average-wing defender over time.If theres an area where Barnes will likely struggle its in situations when hes asked to handle the ball and make quick decisions. Its not that Barnes is a bad ballhandler; hes not. Its just that hes not refined enough in that area to make plays for teammates at this point.In the open court, hes a finisher and not a facilitator.How much Barnes plays will probably be determined in large part by whether or not he can make shots consistently. Hes said to be a pretty good shooter, but his numbers in college werent that impressive: 43 percent from the field, 35 percent from 3-point range in 75 total games.Its possible his shot selection will get better in the pros because hell be focused on less by defenses particularly early in his career. Its no secret that everyone including the Warriors organization has Barnes penciled in as the teams long-term starter at small forward. When that will happen, however, is anyones guess.UP NEXT: Kent Bazemore

Report: Dwyane Wade, Bulls expected to agree on buyout

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AP

Report: Dwyane Wade, Bulls expected to agree on buyout

It appears that the Dwyane Wade era in Chicago won't last much longer.

The 2006 NBA Finals MVP and the Bulls are expected to reach terms on a buyout agreement within the next few months, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell.

In July 2016, Wade signed a two-year deal worth $47 million -- with a $23.8 million player option in Year 2.

In late June, he exercised the option.

If a buyout happens, Wade would become a free agent.

He is very close with LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony reportedly wants to be traded to Houston.

The Warriors open the season against the Rockets on Oct. 17.

Wade's status will be a story worth watching.

The 12-time All-Star will turn 36 years old in January.

Kevin Durant responds to tweet saying Cavs should trade LeBron

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USATI

Kevin Durant responds to tweet saying Cavs should trade LeBron

Kevin Durant was recently playing some pickup ball with LeBron James (see video below).

And on Wednesday afternoon, he reacted to a fan's opinion on what the Cavs should do with LeBron.

LeBron took his talents to South Beach in July 2010, and the Cavs landed the No. 1 overall pick in 2011 (Kyrie Irving), 2013 (Anthony Bennett) and 2014 (Andrew Wiggins).

Durant should have also mentioned that LeBron has a no-trade clause and that Dan Gilbert can't trade LeBron even if he wants to.

[RELATED: The report about LeBron's future with Cavs is reportedly '100 percent false']

Also, why would LeBron waive his no-trade clause and agree to be shipped to a team that is going to have to relinquish many assets just to get LeBron?

He can simply play this season out and then determine his future next summer.

The only question that needs to be answered at this point is: Will the Cavs actually trade Kyrie Irving or will they hold out and hope for a reconciliation?

Enjoy the video...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller