Dec 25, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) speaks to small forward Harrison Barnes (40) before a free throw against the Los Angeles Clippers during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Rumors: Charlotte Hornets to pursue Harrison Barnes

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The Charlotte Hornets (then Bobcats) were one of the surprises of the NBA season.

The Hornets were 21-61 during the 2012-2013 season and after hiring a new coach, Steve Clifford, and acquiring one of the top free agents on the market, former Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz big man Al Jefferson, the Bobcats completely turned things around, improving to 43-39 and returning to the postseason for the first time since 2010.

After the Hornets were eliminated by the Miami Heat in four games in a clean sweep, it was clear that they needed further upgrades. Several reports have indicated they have liked Los Angeles Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol, who will become a free agent this summer, and have for some time.

Gasol may not entertain moving on to the Hornets and they may need upgrades in other places, especially on the offensive end.

Rick Bonnell and Ben Weinrib of The Charlotte Observer believe the Hornets should make a run at Golden State Warriors’ forward Harrison Barnes.

He seemed to regress between his rookie and second seasons, averaging 9.5 points on 40 percent from the field. Maybe that was a function of the Golden State Warriors adding Andre Iguodala at small forward. The Warriors are taking a hard look at their roster; maybe they wouldn’t ask too much in return for Barnes…

Barnes is a better shooter than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, although he lacks Kidd-Gilchrit’s motor.

Barnes is considered a bit of a disappointment after being such a highly-touted prospect, but he would present an offensive upgrade and a fresh start could be just what he needs.

Barnes averaged 9.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
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