Sacramento can offer the Blazers some defensive help.
The Sacramento Kings are, at 13-21, a game and a spot behind the Blazers in the West after a similarly acceptable .500 start.
For a brief minute it looked like the Kings would actually be buyers at the deadline, but a recent 2-7 stretch seems to have scuttled any such notion. Sacramento also remains one of the least popular free agent destinations in the league, so the Kings have only the trade market and draft as avenues to improve.
They also have a handful of defensive stalwarts on their roster and could use a veteran backcourt presence to help bring along youngsters De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, and Davion Mitchell.
In Barnes, the Blazers get the multi-position defensive stopper their current starting lineup lacks and a player who could help replace some of the less tangible pluses they’ll lose by trading McCollum.
Portland could move Norman Powell back to his natural two spot and improve two positions defensively. Thompson, on an expiring deal, provides some Cody Zeller injury insurance and clears the Blazers to trade Nurkic, Covington, or both for more wing depth or big bodies.
McCollum gets his run of the most fertile farmland in the United States to build his Zinfandel empire, and a bevy of young talent to teach how to feed him for 3-pointers.