Harrison Barnes joining the Philadelphia 76ers this summer is a possibility. NBA rumors indicate that Barnes’ inclusion to the United States basketball national team for the 2016 Rio Olympics is just one way for Jerry Colangelo to court the Golden State Warriors forward and encourage him to sign a deal with Philadelphia in the 2016 offseason.
Colangelo, who currently serves as an advisor to the Sixers, is the director of USA Basketball since 2005. Barnes was recently named to the Team USA line-up for the Rio games.
Chris Ryan of theringer.com speculated in a recent article that Barnes’ decision in free agency could be affected by Colangelo’s decision to tap him for Team USA.
“Until recently, Jerry Colangelo had another job. He was chairman of basketball operations for the Philadelphia 76ers. In April, his son Bryan became general manager and president of basketball ops. Jerry Colangelo soon stepped down from his official position, moving to the role of special adviser to the managing partner,” Ryan wrote.
“Does Harrison Barnes’s surprising inclusion on Team USA signal that the Sixers could be a player in landing his services this summer? No, but it does signal that there is a relationship. And when you think about it, Barnes in Philly makes a lot of sense.”
Barnes is a restricted free agent this summer but it appears the Warriors will let him go in free agency after he struggled in the recent 2016 NBA Playoffs. According to other NBA rumors, Golden State is also going to pursue Kevin Durant and that means Warriors would not be re-signing Barnes on a long-term deal as all their cash will go to the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar.
Ryan also admitted that even without the Rio stint, Barnes would still consider signing in Philadelphia and be one of the main stars in the team.
“In the end, the Sixers might not need the special adviser to the managing partner to make a come-to-Philly-and-I-send-you-to-Rio promise. The situation actually sells itself: playing in a weaker conference, being the first option on offense, getting your name in lights and face on billboards,” Ryan added.
Could the NBA rumors of Harrison Barnes going to the Philadelphia 76ers be true? Will the stint in Rio affect his decision-making this 2016 free agency?
Photo courtesy: U.S. Department of Defense/Flickr.com