Matt Barnes

Report: Matt Barnes agrees to sign with L.A. Clippers


We told you yesterday that Matt Barnes looked done with the Lakers but was close to a deal to stay in Los Angeles with the Clippers.

Now comes this tweet from Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated:

Source says Matt Barnes has informed the Clippers he will sign with them.

Nothing is ever final until ink is on paper, but this sounds like it will be a reality. And at a veteran minimum price this is a good value for the Clippers, if not a need.

The Clippers are now loaded at the wing spot — they have Jamal Crawford, Caron Butler and Grant Hill at the three, Chauncey Billups, Willie Green and Eric Bledsoe at the two (although Bledsoe plays a lot of backup point). Plus, Lamar Odom can play on the wing some. So good luck finding some minutes in there, Barnes. And have fun setting the rotations, Vinny Del Negro.

But Chris Paul was in on the recruiting of Barnes, and right now what Chris Paul wants — bringing Billups back, for example — he gets as they try to keep CP3 happy heading into next summer when he is a free agent.

The Clippers have depth, they made moves this season that will make them a better team. But the real key to their success will be DeAndre Jordan stepping up and how they deal with front line depth issues. Barnes is not a huge impact just because there are not that many wing minutes to go around.

Still, Barnes is a Clipper and at a minimum deal that is a nice pickup.

Kings pick up option on G Ben McLemore

Ben McLemore, Rodney Hood
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) The Sacramento have picked up the 2016-17 option on guard Ben McLemore‘s contract.

General manager Vlade Divac announced the move Saturday.

McLemore was Sacramento’s first-round pick in 2013. He averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists last season.

Paul George reiterates “I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot”

Paul George

In the Pacers first exhibition game of the season Saturday against the Pelicans, Paul George started at the power forward spot and looked healthy — that should be the big takeaway. He also showed off his offensive game in the first quarter, eventually finishing the night with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. He forced some shots in the second half and had some defensive challenges, but it was a solid outing for a first preseason game.

George did not see it that way, and that will end up being the big takeaway.

He complained about playing power forward during training camp and given the chance after this one game he did it again, as reported by Candace Buckner of the Indy Star.

“I don’t know if I’m cut out for a four spot,” George said after the Pacers’ 110-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, a game in which he started matched up against 6-foot-11 All-Star Anthony Davis.

“I don’t know if this is my position. We’ll sit and watch tape and I’m sure I’ll talk with coach (Frank Vogel). I’ll talk with Larry (Bird) as well to get both their inputs on how the first game went but…I’m still not comfortable with it regardless of the situation. It’s still something I have to adjust to or maybe not. Or maybe it’s something we can go away from.”

George sees himself as a wing, where he has played his entire career. He doesn’t like defending traditional fours, as a scorer he doesn’t like expending all that energy defending pick-and-rolls and banging with bigger bodies. He’s been clear about that.

He still needs to be open to the idea. How much time George gets at the four on any given night should depend on the matchup — and Anthony Davis is about as rough a matchup as he is going to see. Davis scored 18 points in 15 minutes, and the Pelicans controlled the paint against the small-ball Pacers. George had a hard time defending Davis — welcome to a rather large club, PG. That said, George scored 12 points in the first quarter mostly with Davis on him, he pulled the big out in space and got what he wanted.

Back to the matchups point, George will struggle defensively against the best fours in the game (most of whom are in the West). But what about the nights in the East when George would be matched up on Thaddeus Young from Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger (or David Lee, or whoever) from Boston, or Aaron Gordon with the Magic, or Carmelo Anthony with the Knicks when they play small? There are a lot of lineups the Pacers will see where George at the four makes sense.

The Pacers are transitioning from a plodding and defensive-minded squad to a more up-tempo style, and that’s going to take time— a lot more than one preseason game. However, if George is throwing cold water on the plan after this one effort, it might take a lot longer and be a lot bumpier to make that transition than we pictured.