Fans should hope Raptors’ deal for Barnes falls apart

When the Raptors’ current roster looks like this:


















































sound personnel management SHOULD dictate that the team does not add a player with the specific skill-set of Matt Barnes, as an unrestricted free agent, at a cost of $4.5 M per year.

The fact is …

Matt Barnes chose to opt out of his contract with the Orlando Magic.

Matt Barnes sees himself as a starting calibre player in the NBA.

However, Matt Barnes is not a starting calibre player in the NBA.

Matt Barnes is a mediocre Small Forward, who does nothing well, in particular … in spite of his reputation as a worthwhile defensive player who brings a certain amount of grit to the table … and, whose team usually goes in a reverse direction, once he comes on board [e.g. which is precisely what happened in both Phoenix and Orlando]. 

Playing for the Orlando Magic last season, Matt Barnes had a contract which paid him something less-than $2.0 M/yr.

In his 7-year NBA career, Matt Barnes has already played for 7 different teams.

If your team aleady has a starting calibre wing player – e.g. Grant Hill [Phoenix Suns] or Vince Carter – then Matt Barnes can be an adequate back-up player … if he chooses to play within his role, as a cost-effective substitute. 

However, if your team does not already have a starting calibre wing player on its roster … e.g. DeMar DeRozan [20], Sonny Weems [], Marco Belinelli [], Linas Kleiza [] and Leandro Barbosa … then, adding a disruptive player like Matt Barnes – see exhibit A and B – is a waste of organizational resources.

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22 Responses to “Fans should hope Raptors’ deal for Barnes falls apart”

  1. Jim Says:

    “Matt Barnes is a mediocre Small Forward, who does nothing well, in particular”

    False. Matt Barnes rebounds quite well and is solid defensively.

  2. john Says:

    Weak dude..

    On a team that was ranked second last on the defensive side of the ball, the Raptors could use a defensive specialist like Barnes. Why do you think BOston, Heat and Lakers want him?

    De Rozan is a SG not a SF!! WE’re short in the 3 & 5 spots. Matt BArnes can fill this role and help get the teams stops so that we can run in transition!!

  3. Raptors Digest Says:

    Matt Barnes is not a good fit, but the terms of the potential deal made this one a win for the Raptors…$4.5 sounds cheap compared to some of the other crazy contracts that have been handed out over the summer..only for 2 years was the best part of all

  4. khandor Says:


    Here the list of projected starting SF’s for next season:

    Orlando – Mickeal Pietrus
    Boston – Paul Pierce
    Miami – LeBron James
    Atlanta – Marvin Williams
    Milwaukee – John Salmons/Carlos Delfino/Corey Maggette
    Chicago – Luol Deng
    Charlotte – Gerald Wallace
    Cleveland – Jamario Moon/Danny Green
    Indiana – Danny Granger
    Toronto – Matt Barnes
    New York – Danilo Gallinari
    Detroit – Tayshaun Prince
    Philadelphia – Thaddeus Young/Andre Iguodala
    Washington – Al Thornton/Josh Howard
    New Jersey – Travis Outlaw/Terence Williams

    Los Angeles Lakers – Ron Artest
    Dallas – Shawn Marion
    Phoenix – Hedo Turkoglu/Grant Hill
    Denver – Carmelo Anthony
    Utah – Andrei Kirilenko
    Portland – Nicolas Batum
    San Antonio – Mano Ginobili/Richard Jefferson
    Oklahoma City – Kevin Durant
    Houston – Shane Battier/Trevor Ariza
    Memphis – Rudy Gay
    New Orleans – James Posey
    Los Angeles Clippers – Al-Farouq Aminu
    Sacramento – Omri Casspi
    Golden State – Reggie Williams/Dorell Wright
    Minnesota – Corey Brewer

    1. Please identify the players who you believe are inferior rebounders to Matt Barnes?

    2. Please identify the players who you believe are inferior defenders to Matt Barnes?

    3. Please identify the players who you believe are inferior rebounders/defenders to Matt Barnes?

  5. khandor Says:


    1. Welcome aboard! :-)

    2. Bruce Bowen is an example of an effective defensive specialist, in the NBA … i.e. someone who is adequate on the offensive side of the ball, given a specific skill which he is proficient at; while, simultaneously, being an accomplished defender/rebounder at the position[s] he plays.

    Matt Barnes, however, simply does not fit, as a worthwhile defensive specialist, at the highest level of competition … unless, of course, you already have a “starting calibre” Small Forward in your line-up [e.g. Boston/Paul Pierce, Miami/James or Lakers/Artest].

  6. khandor Says:


    1. Welcome aboard! :-)

    2. re: contracts given out to SF’s, thus far

    Matt Barnes is an inferior player when compared with:

    Ray Allen
    Joe Johnson
    Mike Miller
    Raja Bell
    Kyle Korner

    LeBron James
    Paul Pierce
    Travis Outlaw
    John Salmons
    Quentin Richardson
    Dorell Wright
    Tony Allen

    … to the point that even the minimal 2-year commitment would not have been worth it [e.g. the team would be better off giving those minutes to cats like DeRozan, or Weems, or Kleiza ... even if they are being asked to play out of their best positions].

  7. Scott G Says:

    Barnes himself is not a terrible player. And generally-speaking, we do need “toughness” as a team. I’m just not sure Barnes brings much more than fake “toughness” to the table… AND, the bigger problem is Barnes’s inability/unwillingness to assume a smaller role that better fits his talents. (A little bit like J. Jack in that regard, perhaps? Though Jack is a superior player.) I think his salary for the Magic last year was about right… anything near $5mm is ridiculous for a player of this caliber.

    Here’s hoping the deal gets skewered some way or another.

  8. Brain Colangelo Says:

    I agree re. Barnes being a waste of resources. I’d rather have the trade exception.

    I don’t hate the deal, though, because it’s short and could be trade fodder and because I don’t think Barnes’ toughness is fake and think he’s a pretty good rebounder/defender. Maybe there’s something that nice guys like DeRozan and Weems can learn from him to become more complete players and it doesn’t hurt that they need to earn their minutes.

    Here’s what I do hate (and I predict you’ll agree with me, Khandor) – not using Belinelli as a situational PG with Barbosa on the floor. Belinelli’s playmaking and ability to defend 2s would be a fit alongside Barbosa. I don’t think Beli has been put in a position to flourish on this team and at this stage his skills would be valuable to the team given that we’ve lost some floor spacing shooters over the past couple of years…

    Your pal,

    PS. Scott G – way to go. You almost disagreed with Khan! You agreed in the end but baby steps, man, baby steps… I still think he writes your posts for you…

  9. Scott G Says:

    Brain – I actually posted a comment to a different article on this blog last night, well before this article was posted, expressing my reaction to the reported Barnes signing. In fact, I think I said something about rather wanting the trade exception. But maybe Khan planted that one too.

    Personally, I think guys like Derozan and Weems have very little to learn from a hothead like Barnes. If anything, his presence would disrupt their development. IMO, getting in a guy’s face after a play is over, taking T’s etc, is not real toughness.

    Belli cannot defend 2′s. That’s why he’s not a good 2 in the NBA. I would venture to say that I’d feel at least as comfortable with Barbosa guarding the 2′s in that situation. A better pairing at PG with Barbosa at the 2 would have been a guy like A. Parker (someone who can legitimately defend 2′s).

  10. Barnes deal hits a snag - Page 22 Says:

    [...] khandor’s sports blog Blog Archive, Fans should hope Raptors’ deal for Barnes falls apart, Even if it has been posted, deserves one more look. Every word there is my thoughts exactly [...]

  11. khandor Says:

    Scott G.,

    re: Barnes as a decent player

    When he moved from Golden State to Phoenix 2 years ago, he had the sort of game which c/should have translated to a slight uptick in performance overall [i.e. an improved W-L record] for the Suns. However, this is not what happened. Instead … for a number of different reasons … Phoenix went backwards, while he was there.

    Then, last season, instead of staying in Phoenix, he moved on again to a stacked Orlando squad … which was primed for another deep playoff run.

    What happened to the Magic last season?

    They under-performed in the regular season and the playoffs … for a number of different reasons … some of which was directly related to the way that Matt barnes inter-acted with his teammates, coaches and management, and the way he performed when handed the starting SF position on their team.

    IMO, “Rebound %” is an almost-close-to-useless so-called “advanced stat”; as is “TS%” for a “back-up SF” with the incomplete skill-set of an internally disruptive Matt Barnes [who perceives himself as a starting calibre player that should finish games for a legitimately high end team in the NBA].

    At this stage of his career, Barnes might be a solid fit … as a bench player … for the Celtics, behind Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, or the Lakers behind Kobe and Ron-Ron; but, not a team like the Raptors with a number of still-developing young players in need of valuable PT and a non-established head coach like Jay Triano.

  12. khandor Says:


    1. After watching Barnes closely for the last 2 seasons, I agree with Scott G., re: Matt Barnes’ “fake” toughness.

    2. Nothing wrong with DeRozan and Weems having to earn their minutes, but it should be by going against a low-salaried veteran cat like, e.g. Trenton Hassell, or Rasual Butler, or Bobby Simmons, or Damien Wilkens, or [the dreaded] Rodney Carney [:-)], etc. [i.e. someone with a good team-first attitude], on a short-term contract.

    3. I do think Belinelli is a useful [and talented] player, if used at the PG spot … but, as Scott G. has already told you … not beside Barbosa but, rather, beside players like Weems and DeRozan, with Marco having to check the opponent’s PG.

    4. re: being my pal

    LOL, :-)

    Insincere or sarcastic remarks earn no points with me.

    i.e. My personal history is such that … I am either someone whose “style of being” you happen to like/respect, or you happen to dislike/disrespect, without much middle ground in-between. At the end of the day, that is absolutely fine by me, as seeking to please everyone is not something I have the least bit of interest in doing.

    Those who fit as my friends are individuals who I have known for quite some time. They know that they can count on me; and, I know that I can count on them.


  13. khandor Says: [from],

    1. Welcome aboard! :-)

    2. It is always interesting to see first-hand the wide range of individuals and other sources of Raptors-related information on-line who/that read what’s written here.

    3. Thanks for spreading the word.

  14. Brain Colangelo Says:

    Not sure if you’ll see this, but re. your point #4… why can’t we all just get along?

    Given how little Marco plays, I think we can ensure that he’s matched against 2s that aren’t so much stronger than him as to be abused. I don’t like Barbosa against any 2s that are too strong for Marco, although I don’t mind Marco against 1s because our other PGs suck defensively and his length at PG allows him to defend PGs differently…

    Your pal,

  15. Mike D Says:

    Love the 2 exhibits you included from the Orlando Sentinel regarding Barnes’ character in the locker room and behind the scenes. Good pulls.

  16. khandor Says:


    re: why can’t we all just get along?

    - Sarcasm, as a form of wit, leaves a great deal to be desired … despite what it says here

    - it can be difficult to judge accurately whether or not others really understand what lies at the heart of a disagreement/dispute/different interpretation-of-events/etc. with someone else


    re: Belinelli’s check

    IMO, he should not be asked to check OG’s. He should check the opponent’s PG.


    re: Barbosa’ check

    I don’t like him checking 2′s either.


    re: Your pal

    Just plain “Brain” will do fine. :-)

  17. khandor Says:

    Mike D,

    Thanks for expressing your appreciation of my efforts.

  18. Brain Colangelo Says:

    Lighten up, Khandor. This is part of what didn’t work on RR.


  19. khandor Says:


    There’s a difference between these two environments … which I believe you can [now] see clearly for yourself.

    No need to lighten up, my friend … if/when things are copacetic, in the first place. :-)

    I truly appreciate the time you take and the effort you make to contribute your comments in this space, in a constructive way.

    Hopefully you will continue, in this regard.


    PS. re: RR, Do you know that I am welcome on that site at any time. The reason I choose to refrain from participating extensively there has nothing to do with “this being part of what didn’t work on RR” … as the fact is, there are those who thought that “this” worked just fine in that location, as well, and would be welcomed back with open arms. :-)

  20. Brain Colangelo Says:

    To me, the difference is only that this is your blog, your house. We respect your house.

    You asked me about my opinion of your antics at RR… I like your blog. I think you know basketball. I think your style of argument is often weak, reliant upon appeals to your own expertise, laden with hints and dismissive chiding like “which I believe you can [now] see clearly for yourself”, and I think you dwell on minutae (like my salutation) and in doing so you lose your reader and your credibility.

    Here, in your house, when people don’t like your behaviour, they leave. At RR, which is like the park (or the ACC if you prefer that metaphor), if people don’t like your behaviour, they tell you to get the **** out. That’s exactly what happened on RR, and you grabbed on to minutae as you always seem to do and the arguments formed an endless and tiresome circle. That, in my opinion, laid waste to some good debate and the community feel that RR has. Here, in your house, the debate is more respectful because when people get annoyed with the way you behave, they leave.

    I don’t represent RR. I write under a pseudonym. This is just my opinion. I’m telling you only because you asked.


  21. khandor Says:


    The park is not a sound analogy for RR. The park is owned by the city on behalf of all its citizens.

    RR is owned by a private citizen, and operated for the benefit of so-called “fans” of the team.

    Who is it that you think ever told me to “get out” of RR? … because the fact is the owner [and operators] of the site did not. Neither did countless other individuals who happen to participate there still.

    If you believe my “style of argument is often weak”, then, please put forth an example of a style of “argument” which you happen to believe is “strong”, in contrast, so that I may see exactly what this looks like.

    [NOTE 1: If, in turn, it cannot be torn to shreds by an authentically knowledgeable basketball person, then, I will gladly acknowledge such and concede the point you are trying to make, in this instance. If it can, however, then, I would suggest that it might be you who needs to "lighten up" a wee bit, here, and allow the "other fella" ... who might choose to say something in a style which you might not appreciate as much as another - although equally flawed version, perhaps - a little bit more elbow room, for the sake of "Can't we all just get along?" :-) ]

    [NOTE 2: The "hint", in this instance, should be plain for "you" to "see" but won't necessarily be easily discernible - i.e. visible - for others. Instead of using sarcasm, per se, there are plenty of other ways to be light-heartedly good-natured and humourous towards someone else whom you actually respect. i.e. My man, John Wooden had a maxim which went something like this: "It's important to be able to have fun without be funny." John was a wise man. :-) ]

    [NOTE 3: The entire game of basketball ... when played at an elite level ... is built upon the proper understanding of minutae, as any authentic elite level coach worth his/her salt will tell you, "The devil is [indeed] in the details”.]

    With all due respect to your opinion on the matter …

    The specific reason “the debate” is more respectful here is not because “when people get annoyed with the way you behave, they leave.”

    The reason the comments published here are “more respectful” is because:

    i. This blog is not a “free-for-all” environment;

    ii. I publish the comments of others who are respectful in what they have to say, whether they agree with my opinions, or not;

    iii. I do not publish the comments of those who are not respectful in what they have to say, whether they agree with my opinions, or not.

    I sincerely appreciate you sharing your opinions with me, and hope that you are able to keep an open mind concerning our different perspectives and the possibility that I just might be right about a few things which you may not have realized to this point.

  22. Brain Colangelo Says:


    Thanks for your response. I have nothing new to add to this discussion and choose not to elaborate.


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