By enjoying his best season ever, Matt Barnes has certainly created a market for himself going into the offseason, with the Los Angeles Clippers interested in re-signing him, but with the Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers all waiting to see what happens.
Barnes averaged 10.3 points per game (a career high) on his 10th NBA season and first (After his rookie year) with the Clippers. He played a substantial role off the bench in helping the Clippers enjoy their best ever regular season, including a franchise-record 19 consecutive wins, doing much better and playing much more than he did for the Lakers in the two previous seasons.
What does Barnes want? Probably money wouldn’t be too far off target, never making more than $1.9 million except for one season (2007-2008 with the Warriors, $3 million), but getting a deal that’s longer than just one year, at his age (33), would be a blessing, and he probably will get a multiyear deal based on his ability last season.
There’s also the matter of where he plays – Barnes grew up in California and played his college ball for UCLA. He has spent his entire NBA career, except for the 2009-2010 season (when he played for the Orlando Magic) playing on the West Coast, and eight of those seasons for a California team.
However, his one season in Phoenix means the Spurs and the Mavs have a shot at him, but the Nets and Hawks? Less than likely, unless their offers are substantially better than the others, although it would be foolish to think anyone is going to give Barnes an outrageous contract at this stage of his career.
For a guy who can play both forward positions and his showing that not playing too many minutes during his career has certainly kept him in pretty good shape, there’s always a room on almost any team, especially a contender looking to add a veteran with playoff experience. The best offer financially, like with most players, will be the one that gets Barnes to sign.