"It's difficult," Barnes said of moving from the Golden State Warriors to the Mavericks, per ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk. "I think I've definitely gained a greater appreciation for the process. To be able to understand how good teams are built, how competitive it is every single night, the margin between wins and losses."
The Warriors were a playoff team in each of Barnes' four years in the Bay Area. They were also the NBA champions in 2015 and were one win short of making it two titles in a row in the 2016 Finals.
By comparison, the Mavericks won 57 combined games over the past two years and didn't finish higher than 11th in the Western Conference.
Moving to Dallas hasn't been without some benefits for Barnes.
He occupies a far bigger role with the Mavs than he would've with the Warriors, especially since Kevin Durant arrived in Golden State just as he was leaving. Barnes is averaging 19.0 points and 5.5 rebounds with the Mavs, compared to 10.1 points and 4.6 rebounds with the Warriors.
The 26-year-old can opt out of his four-year, $94 million contract after the 2018-19 season. Especially if Dallas becomes a playoff contender, turning down $25.1 million in 2019-20 in favor of a long-term deal might be a solid bet.