Once the Golden State Warriors signed Kevin Durant, it seems people forgot about Harrison Barnes since the Dallas Mavericks have been mostly off the map this season.
The 24-year old NBA champion signed a 4-year, 94.4-million-dollar contract with Dallas that has an average salary of 23.6 million per season.
The Mavericks are currently sitting at 28-37 and in 10th place in the Western Conference. This means they are 2.5 games back of the Denver Nuggets for the final playoff spot in their conference.
Barnes leads the Mavericks in points, a career high 20.1 per game, and his rebounding has increased as well. While he is not averaging career highs in any other stat, none of them are too far off from his highest total numbers.
After leaving Golden State, many people thought he would underperform for Dallas and not play up to the contract they signed him to. I think it is okay to say he has proven those people wrong at this point in his first year out of the bay area.
The rebuilding effort in Dallas has taken a real step up in the past month or so, having traded center Andrew Bogut and forward Justin Anderson to bring in the young and defensive minded Nerlens Noel as a hopeful future start at the five slot.
They also bought out veteran guard Deron Williams to give undrafted rookie Yogi Ferrell more time in the spotlight and guard Seth Curry has been lighting up the court with career bests all over the place.
With the era of Dirk the Dominant coming to an end soon, the Mavs will be looking towards the future with plans to stay just as competitive in the West as they have been for the last 10 plus years. Thanks to Barnes and the other young guns, the future is looking up in the big D.
All stats provided by ESPN Spotrac