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Barnes to Phoenix

Matt Barnes told me tonight he is signing with the Suns, a one-year deal for the league minimum ($926,678) .
This ends the deteriorated relationship between Barnes and the Warriors. Just two seasons ago, he was the man, the key role player in their success. He played defense, rebounded, committed the hard fouls, knocked down shots, played with energy — everything the Warriors needed. He was nearly as important to the Warriors’ postseason success in 2007 as Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson.
He certainly didn’t play the same last season, and for good reason (the death of his mother, disappointment from not getting a contract, Nellie constantly on his case). Still, I would’ve liked to see him stay. Not only for my benefit (Barnes is one of the most down-to-earth athletes I’ve ever met). But I think he could’ve helped the Warriors. He knows the system. He fits the style. He’s experienced. He would’ve been cheap, much cheaper than the $3-plus million he got last year. He also would’ve been hungry, coming off a disappointing year.
The reality is, though, I don’t think Nellie wants him around. Nellie had a thing against Barnes. His turnovers burned Nellie more. For some reason, his bad shots really infuriated Nellie. Which is wierd, considering how many bad shots the Warriors take. Barnes knew it.
Based on every conversation we’ve had, Barnes would stay with the Warriors if they made him an offer. He loved it here. He’s a Bay Area guy. The system fits his game. He’s tight with his teammates. And it’s not like he’s getting more money elsewhere. The Warriors can afford to pay him the minimum. Which leads me to believe they didn’t make him an offer.

Marcus Thompson

  • Ron Hubbard

    “The reality is, though, I don’t think Nellie wants him around.” Is this similar to how Nellie didn’t like Mario Elli and we let him go when he still had some usefulness. We ended up replacing him with Jeff Grayer? I liked Barnes and I wished they would have given him another one year contract.

  • Jackdarippa

    I’m thinking that we should trade for Thad Young and put him at the 2!

  • john

    Marcus, I think you’re corrrect, it was more than money. Nelson played a short rotation last year because he couldn’t trust Barnes/Pietrus.

  • RJ

    Wow! This team has completely lost its’ WE BELIEVE identity. Baron, Pietrus, Matt, J-Rich. Please tell me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

  • EJ

    no room for barnes with maggette and randolph on the team.

  • Road Orange

    Maybe they want to give the minimum to somebody who can make a shot.
    Maybe they want to give the minimum to somebody who doesn’t tun the ball over every 2 seconds.
    Maybe they want to give the minimum to somebody who doesn’t commit flagrant fouls.
    Maybe they want to give the minimum to somebody who can play defense without committing fouls.
    Maybe they want to give the minimum to a non-wing player.

    No, I guess it’s much easier to say Nellie had it in for Barnes all along, in spite of the fact that he kept playing him-at times in front of Brandan Wright-when he sucked. Marcus, you’re the best. Keep up the good work.

  • Joe

    So im guessing that “We Believe” won’t be the team’s slogan anymore… It’ll be more like “Believe in next year or the year after next.”

  • Joe

    Ya gotta love Matt Barnes, last year was so tragic for him, I completely understand why he didn’t play well. I would love to see the Matt of 2 years ago again. I also understand the Warriors going in another direction and Wish Matt the best, except when he is playing the Warriors!

  • Wilson

    Barnes may well do better this season but he was pretty terrible in the past one. Did nothing to give us any confidence in his ability to contribute.

  • chippy

    I’m wondering if the Warriors will let Kelenna walk…. All signs seem to point to, “yes, let the clippers have him”.

  • Jack

    i am sick of nellie’s leesh and lack of trust in his players. nellie is not that great of a coach. in fact phil jackson thinks that nellie is a joke with his small ball, etc… why don’t we put nellie on a leesh for losing great players and destroying their confidence.

  • EJ

    i’d hate to enter every season with a “we believe” mind set and risk heart attacks every april! haha. hopefully in a few years we can be playoff regulars.

  • haastheman

    I’m with Road Orange on this one. Barnes, it was great while it lasted, and thanks for the memories. Currently the roster looks like this:

    guards: MONTA, Marco, and Watson
    forwards: MAGS, JAX, HARRINGTON, Wright, Randolph,
    BIGS: BIEDRENS, Turiaf, Kosta, and Hendrix (2nd
    rounder)

    I’d much rather see Marco and Randolp play then Barnes. All those who wanted to see barnes play, where do you want him to play? Same goes for Azubukie.

    We got Marco, Randolph, Wright, Watson, and Turiaf off the bench. Unless we plan to package a group of players for a star, we don’t have the minutes.

  • Road Orange

    Exactly.
    Jamont Gordon is playing for us in Utah right now. Maybe he’ll be added to the guards list.

  • We_Are_The_Littles

    “in fact phil jackson thinks that nellie is a joke with his small ball, etc…”

    Yeah, this from a guy who coached, arguably, the best player of all time in Jordan, and two of the best in Shaq and Kobe. I wonder what he would say, or how he would do, if he had to coach Nellie’s teams over the years.

    Nellie is a future Hall of Famer and one of the most winningest coaches of all time. But yeah, you’re right, he’s not very good at all.

  • Anonymous

    The Warriors players new motto: We Be Leavin’

  • Anonymous

    Bye,Bye Barnsie! Have a good year in Phoenix. Nellie says to give Steve Nash his regards.

  • Warrior Worrier

    I can’t wait to see who we sign with that million we saved by not re-signing Barnes. I hope he does well for the Suns and earns himself a nice contract after that. He didn’t that well last year but was a good guy and I wish him the best.

  • Maverick

    Marcus,

    How has Richard Hendrix looked so far?
    Do you see him being a contributor next year? And if so to what extent?

  • Ewok

    The thing with Barnes is, He is very much like a Diesel. He gets better when he gets more minutes. Use him in spurts then he becomes turnover prone like everyone else in a system that runs and gun.

    I like the guy. But it would be cruel to make him stay in the Warriors line up and sit his butt on the bench.

    I can understand why the Warriors released him, Anthony Randolph is far more a better investment time and money wise. Not to mention the presence of Corey Maggette and Azubique. Barnes will only rot in the bench if he stayed as a Warrior. Sad, but that’s the truth.

    Barnes will be a good fit in Phoenix. They will run and he will get his minutes. I think Phoenix is badly in need of small forward with his experience. I think it will work out for him.

    Sure it’s Sad to lose a loyal Warrior who’s willing to be a Warrior no matter what. But loyalty doesn’t work that way in a billion industry business. Loyalty follows the money trail and that’s just the reality, nothing personal. Old fashioned Loyalty? Nope not at all. There’s always that next guy who can take your spot and he’s younger and cheaper.

    Barnes needs to find his place in the Sun. So he can shine. I think he will do just fine with his new team, hopefully he will get his minutes.

  • GS Smith

    That’s crap. Barnes was a true Warrior. Gangsta to the core, never backed down ON THE COURT. Off of it I’m told he was a nice guy. I for one am sorry to see him go, goodbye Matt and good luck!!

  • GS Smith

    Rather see Azibuike go.

  • Warrior Worrier

    It’s too bad Barnes and Pietrus
    didn’t play well last season. We would have made the playoffs and they both might still be around. But they were inconsistent and now they’re gone. Hope they both have bounce-back seasons with their new teams.

  • Marcus

    Haastheman and Road Orange,

    Thank God I ain’t employed by y’all, you disloyal, kick-’em-while-they-down-GMs. :o ) I acknowledge Barnes had a down year. No question. But I know for a fact Nellie put Barnes through the ringer last year and the year before. I have had people in the locker room tell me that Nellie picks on Barnes inexplicably.
    That’s neither here nor there. You guys are crazy if you think Marco and Belinelli are ready to give big minutes on a winning team in the West. Maybe Randolph. But don’t get too hype off summer league.
    The Warriors need a veteran presence on the bench. They need somebody to challenge Randolph and Belinelli for minutes. I don’t understand how you are OK with paying Croshere the minimum, but not Barnes. Are you forgetting 06-07? Just a year ago this time, you all were loving him. The dude mama dies, he has a bad season, and you ready to GIVE the keys to the youngster.

    Plus look at this way: who is Randolph competing with for minutes? Right now, nobody. Think it’s good for a rookie to get guaranteed minutes? Don’t think he’s better off
    competing with someone like Barnes for minutes? Remember, we’re talking about the minimum here. Is that worth it to push Randolph? I say yes. At this point, he’ll just have to beat out Adrian Griffin for minutes, or which ever fill-in the Warriors pick up.
    Ever think about this: why does Phoenix want him and the Warriors don’t? Aren’t they the better team? Don’t the teams play similar styles? How many times do Warrior discards end up key players elsewhere. I can see if he got $3M or even $2. He didn’t. He got the
    MINIMUM. You are going to have to give that to somebody just to fill out the roster. No way you can convince me Barnes isn’t worth keeping at that price.

  • Le

    Jack,

    You are out of your mind saying Nellie is not a good coach. Besides 2nd most wins EVER, ask yourself when was the last time the Warriors actually had a winning season or made the playoffs without Nellie? I will never get back those 10 seconds it took me to read your comment.
    As for Barnes, great guy, great heart, rough year for him, but I couldn’t stand watching him play. He forces too many shots, misses too many layups. It seems like he is not content with being a role player when he that is exactly what he is.
    I would like to see the Warriors give Shawn Livingston a shot. It’s not much of a risk because he comes real cheap. The upside can be very rewarding.

  • Petaluman

    One of the side-effects of Baron’s opt out was dropping below the cap. This makes the actual order we sign players in critical. Signing Barnes now would reduce the money we are allowed to spend on FAs. Once we’re back over the cap, we can then sign minimum contracts using the MPSE.

    I think the Warriors would have at least considered signing him once they were over the cap, but it would probably depend on the rest of our roster. Remember, we drafted 2 forwards this year.

    For Matt’s sake, though, I wish the Suns had given him more.

  • Rather Be Lit

    Marcus Williams anybody?

  • garlicboy

    Jack and Marcus,
    You should thank Nellie for giving Barnes a shot and giving him PT. The guy would have been out of the league if it wasn’t for Nellie and Mullin giving him a shot and Nellie playing him.

    Miss Barnes, but we signed Maggette, will resign Buike, still have Jackson and Randolph will play sooner rather than later.

  • garlicboy

    Marcus Williams, we gave up too much for him. Other than that it’s a nice pick up.

    It’s going to be interesting to see who will be the best PG out of Lowry, Crittenton and Williams, because we probably could’ve had Crittenton or Lowry as well for a future 1st round pick.

  • longshorelikebench

    Barnes really didn’t do well last year. That may be an understatement. I say all that as a huge fan of Barnes. I thought that when he was playing at the peak of his abilities, scoring was the least of the contributions he made. He pushed the ball. He rebounded. He made the extra pass. Last year.. was just really bad. I hope he does have a bounce back year. And I’d take a Matt Barnes Flagrant Foul any day over a team not having any sort of attitude on the court. Now that Baron’s gone, they really don’t have anyone with swagger. I hope some of the role players step up to be the enforcers. Jack’s got the swagger, but he can’t get caught up in attitude and those sidegames because we all know the NBA refs won’t give him a short leash.

  • Dresden

    I liked Matt too but you can understand why Nellie soured on him a bit. Barnes was really unpredictable and often seemed to be trying to do some kind of Magic Johnson imitation when he was in the game. Problem was, he’s not Magic and so a lot of his errors/trunouver came from trying to be too clever and I think that really rubbed Nellie the wrong way. I know it drove me crazy too.

  • goingforthemoney.com

    The is a lot of good points that were made about Matt Barnes, for or against. The reality is that this roster has been overhauled with some key signings. Give Mullins some credit this time around. He was forced to rethink his strategy due to Baron opting out. I too will miss Barnes. It was unfortunate that his mom died, for it was definitely a big distraction. It would have been touch for anyone to play under those conditions. Don’t feel sorry for Matt he will be making more than most of us for sure and he’s in a perfect situation for his style of play. I do think the W’s will be alright without him but I sure as heck would have kept him for a little as they would have had to pay him. Last year was a fluk in the opposite direction and all of ya’ll better believe that he will make the suns a better team.

  • http://suns.com steve kerr

    Miss Barnes out Maggette in?

    Thanks Nelly!

    Barnes showsup in the playoffs, I am glad we
    got rid of Marion which chokes in Playoffs
    like Kobe does.

    Now Matt is going to show the “We BeLeave” Warriors
    why the Leave! Come Playoff you’ll see like Baron
    and Jackson, Barnes is Money!

    Nelly your judgement SUCKS! as much as Maggette’s
    defense SUCKS!

    Good luck! see you in the Playoffs….Ops never mind
    you won’t be there!