We know this already, but Kevin Arnovitz at True Hoop on Friday (in the Friday Bullets) discusses a key reason why Matt Barnes chose to sign with the Magic. The reason? Barnes' perception of the coach, Stan Van Gundy.
Here's the quote:
"Third Quarter Collapse notes that Matt Barnes listed Stan Van Gundy as one of the primary reasons he chose Orlando: "Are you hearing this? Are you believing this? Van Gundy, the man whom some Magic fans wanted fired after his team blew a 14-point, 4th-quarter lead to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, is now almost a big a draw for free-agents as Dwight freakin' Howard is." Whatever unfair stigma Van Gundy carried into the late spring, it's fair to say that label has expired. As Ben Q. Rock states in the post, Van Gundy has joined the ranks of elite coaches in the league, and a difference-maker for guys exploring their options around the league."
Now, I'm not suggesting that Stan Van Gundy is actually an elite coach, but Barnes' statement is helpful because it shows that the coach is an important factor for getting free agents to sign (and is probably a factor for someone like Sessions). MDSr is obviously not an elite coach, and unless he starts consistently leading the team deep into the playoffs, he never will be. As most of you know, I'm very skeptical of his coaching abilities, and I find it very difficult to believe that most NBA players think he's a good coach, enjoy playing for him, or respect his coaching acumen.
This continues to be a big problem for the Clippers, in part because with MDSr as the GM and DTS as the owner, it doesn't seem likely that things are going to turn around in the near future, and I don't believe that the team should be focusing on the 2010 free agent class, but rather should be taking advantage of other teams' desire to focus on that class. I dont' like being in this position, and at the end of the day it probably won't make much difference in terms of winning because MDSr remains the coach, but there is a chance we can get some more good young talent in here, and MDSr steps away from his coaching duties, we could have a good chance at going deep in the playoffs in a couple of years.