Matt Barnes is as indecisive about where he will play next year as Jessica Alba is about her hair color.
Well, to be fair, Barnes thought he had made a decision, and tweeted he was going to Toronto Monday. Except a few guys in suits forgot to do that math. So he is back on the open market and looking at his options. And is not quite sure what he is going to do, according to David Aldridge at NBA.com.
Matt Barnes was still trying to decide Wednesday afternoon whether he’ll take more money to play with the Cavaliers or chase a chance at a championship with the Lakers, Celtics or Heat.
The Cavaliers can offer the most money by far of any of the teams that Barnes is considering. Cleveland has its full mid-level exception for next season, $5.8 million, to use to sign players. The Cavaliers also have the $14.5 million trade exception they received from Miami as part of the sign-and-trade deal earlier this month for LeBron James. But Cleveland won’t use the trade exception for Barnes, and it’s not likely it would use all of the mid-level for the 30-year-old forward. Cleveland opted to take the big trade exception for James rather than renouncing him and several other free agents to clear cap space.
Just to break out the numbers on the contenders: The Lakers can offer the remaining $1.8 million from their mid-level exception (Steve Blake took up the first $4 million); the Heat and Celtics can only offer a veterans minimum of $1.2 million. Orlando does not have his “Bird rights” because he played for just one season for them, so they cannot exceed the cap to sign him. That’s what killed the sign-and-trade with Toronto.
The money matters. Barnes has made “only” $7.7 million in his six years in the league. Yes, you and I would take that in a heartbeat, but in the financial world of the NBA that is nothing — every team in the NBA has at least a couple players making more than that this year alone, often players making twice that this year alone.
Barnes has played well under pressure for contenders, he deserves a payday. But he’s not getting a big one. So he sits and is indecisive. Can’t really blame him.
Hassan Whiteside recorded a triple-double last night against the Hornets, and his tenth block was particularly impressive. He didn’t so much block Marvin Williams‘ layup attempt as pluck it out of the air with one hand. It almost looks like it should count as a block, rebound and steal at the same time.
The NBA world has taken notice of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. In Thursday night’s home game against the Knicks on TNT, Pistons players wore warmup shirts that read “FLINT NOW,” and the organization announced a $500,000 donation towards providing clean water for residents of the town.
Former Pistons great and general basketball legend Rasheed Wallace went even further, according to a tweet from his alma mater, the University of North Carolina:
Sheed obviously has a connection to Michigan, having played in Detroit for six years (including on the 2004 title team) and serving as an assistant coach for the Pistons during the 2013-14 season. This was an incredible gesture by him for the residents of a town that has been without drinkable water for a long time.
The Kings are a complete mess right now. After a loss to the Nets on Friday night, the team is reportedly considering firing head coach George Karl, who has been with the team for just about one year, and DeMarcus Cousins says they have “a bigger issue than the players.”
But, on the bright side, Cousins is still a monster on the court. During the Nets loss, he posted a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, showing why he’s the one thing about this franchise that is going to be worth talking about long-term.
Russell Westbrook has been wearing the new Air Jordan XXX on the court for nearly a month now. Considering he’s averaging a triple-double in his last 10 games — 22 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds — I’d say he’s pretty comfortable in them.
Continuing a trend of using the respected Jordan brand name with modern players to sell the shoes, this latest ad for the Air Jordan XXX shoes features a young hypeman who describes Westbrook as “the new Big Bang,” and asks people to “make room – as the man is about to take off.”
The Air Jordan XXX hit retail stores on Feb. 12. Westbrook will be wearing them next weekend in Toronto for the All-Star Game.