According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, both Kings players are drawing interest from playoff contenders. One prominent agent even told FortyEightMinutes of Barnes, “No way he’s there after the (March 25) trade deadline.”
The Boston Celtics have been the only opposing team we’ve heard linked to Barnes, though others are certainly out there. The Miami Heat may be one such team, a source told FortyEightMinutes.
Meanwhile, Bjelica has also drawn interest from the Celtics, per reports, but others are expected to join the party of at least being interested.
Per Charania, along with the Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Milwaukee Bucks and Heat have an interest in Bjelica.
Back to Barnes.
As Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee noted, the Celtics have a $28.5 million traded player exception from the offseason deal that sent Gordon Hayward to the Charlotte Hornets. Barnes is making $22 million this season. He is in the second of a four-year contract that totals around $85 million.
Multiple reports suggest the Celtics may be willing to depart with centers Tristan Thompson or Daniel Theis, along with young shooting guards Romeo Langford and Aaron Nesmith. Both Langford and Smith are 21 years old and were selected with the No. 14 overall draft pick — Langford in 2019 and Nesmith in 2020.
Bjelica is making $7.15 million this season on an expiring contract, “a figure the Heat can absorb with its $7.6 million trade exception,” Anderson wrote.