This guest post is by our friend Eric Garcia at LakerLiker.com and is part of a two post series about Matt Barnes' future with the Lakers.
Where in the world is Matt Barnes these days? He’s gotten no love from the media Gods and for the most part the presses have been inked up for the unraveling of the Howard prophecy.
What about those eager remaining top unrestricted free agents roaming around like AMC walkers? Barnes, Landry and even Raja Bell are noteworthy right? Remember those days when Kobe flew in a chopper to sweep Bell off his feet for dinner and a Lakers contract? What about when Kobe dunked on Landry with his left hand and um, well I guess Kobe’s massive dunk has nothing to do with the free agency but still fun to watch…
So where does Kupchak’s off season’s antics leave Matt Barnes and the Lakers? Well, evidently absent or hopefully tardy for fan’s sake. Listen, for me personally Matt Barnes was not easily accepted when the Lakers acquired him two seasons ago. It took me a while to get over that Orlando game where he failed miserably in his attempts to get into Kobe’s head but hey that’s all water under the bridge now.
Barnes is a slashing threat and showed movement when teammates were anchored down by Kobe offense. His toughness was needed especially when World Peace was downed by Artest. Having the option of either starting Matt or Metta was a constant debate between fans but a luxury for the team. Metta was stupid tough while Matt was strategically tough. Let’s look deeper into the comparison from last season.
Matt was the team’s third best rebounder bringing down 344, Metta 218. Matt was the better shooter - 45% FG / 33% 3PT / 74% FT, Metta 39% FG / 30% 3PT / 62% FT. Matt showed more movement offensively than the two and consequently found himself at the charity stripe the most at that position. Who was the better defender? Well it all depends on how you look at it. Matt blocked more shots (48 - 3rd team best) but Metta, tied with Kobe had a team high 69 steals. Metta was the better Nash having dished the rock for 140 assists, Matt had 126.
Regardless of any stat I come up with, new Laker Jamison will most likely kill any hope of Barnes returning to the purple and gold, similar to Nash’s arrival and Sessions departure. Jamison plays both forward positions and pretty much eliminates the need for Barnes. If you look at Matt’s NBA career, the longest he’s stayed with any team was two years so it only makes logical sense that he moves on.
Written by: Eric Garcia – LakerLiker.comBack to the Los Angeles Lakers Newsfeed